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German Farmer Receives First Double Arm Transplant

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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A German farmer who who lost his arms in
an accident six years ago has received the world's first complete
double arm transplant.
Karl Merk says when he woke from surgery, he at first couldn't
believe the transplant had been succesful. But he says that gave
way to joy, when he saw he had arms again.

Wearing a sleeveless black shirt that clearly showed where his
new arms had been grafted, Merk told the reporters in Munich,
"These are my arms, and I'm not giving them away again."

Merk underwent the 15-hour operation three months ago, and has
remained in therapy at the Munich University Clinic since.

Doctors say there are indications of nerve growth in the arms,
but it could take up to two years before he relearns how to use his
hands.

Merk can perform simple tasks such as opening doors and turning
lights on and off. His ultimate goals are to eat and dress himself
-- and ride a motorcycle.


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