By Derek Evers
Brendan Marrocco (left) sits with Tiger Woods and Jon Bon Jovi at the 2010 AT&T National preview day. (Photos by: Getty Images)
If Tiger Woods' victory at Torrey Pines wasn't your feel good story of the week, this one should do the trick. In fact, if it doesn't, you better check your ticker.
As the Daily News (and multiple other outlets) reported yesterday, 26-year-old Iraq War veteran Brendan Marrocco is preparing to leave Johns Hopkins Hospital after receiving the hospital's first successful bilateral arm transplant.
Marrocco lost all four limbs on Easter Sunday, 2009 in an Iraq bombing that killed one soldier and wounded another, becoming the first veteran of the war to survive such a catastrophe. While he has been living with the help of a prosthetic (photo above), Marocco underwent the 13-hour procedure to replace both of his arms on December 18.
"I feel amazing," Marrocco said during a 90-minute news conference. "It's something that I was waiting for a long time."
In 2009 Marrocco became a celebrity in the golf world when Tiger Woods handed his golf ball to the young veteran (left) after sinking his final winning putt at the AT&T National. Despite his unenviable predicament, the 26-year-old has remained extremely positive, even referring to himself as "fortunate" when discussing the explosion that left him without any limbs.
That positivity was rewarded by a surgical team led by Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee. "Six weeks ago today, a team of physicians and nurses helped restore the physical and psychological well-being of Brendan Marrocco, who lost both arms and legs serving our country nearly four years ago," Lee said. "Only six other [U.S. double hand or arm transplant] patients have been successful and Brendan's was the most extensive and complicated."
"It's given me a lot of hope for the future. I feel like I'm getting a second chance," Marrocco happily added. "When people say you can't do it, be stubborn. Do it anyway. Work your ass off and do it."
That's sound advice.