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Icelander to Undergo Arms Transplant

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Icelander to Undergo Arms Transplant

Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

An Icelander who lost both arms in a work-related accident in 1998 will be undergoing the first operation of its kind in the world: the transplant of arms. The operation will take place in Lyon, France, where Guðmundur Felix Grétarsson has been living for almost three years. He is hopeful the wait for the operation is almost over.

“My understanding is that everything is happening right now,” he told RÚV’s Rás 2 radio station. He received positive news before last week from the doctor who will perform the transplant.

A lot has been happening, indeed. Guðmundur has used his time well while waiting for the transplant. Despite his injury, he welcomed love with open arms and tied the knot last Saturday. “I received a message on Saturday while I was getting married. He [the doctor] sent me greetings and asked me to stay in touch so we could book an appointment to take care of this.” Guðmundur continued, “I was lucky enough to get to know this woman, who I just married, that’s one thing. So this has been very positive. And I now have a dog.”

The cost of the transplant could be up to ISK 30 million (USD 229,000, EUR 212,000), according to Guðmundur. Rehabilitation could cost up to ISK 7 million (USD 53,000, EUR 49,000) a month. Despite all that, Guðmundur remains optimistic.

Guðmundur, who worked as an energy distribution electrician, was hit by an 11,000 volt electric current while repairing an electric tower and fell down 8 meters (26 feet) onto frozen ground.

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