Army veteran Brendan Marrocco is a true American hero: The soldier survived a 2009 quadruple amputation after his vehicle was bombed in Iraq. Just recently, he became one of only 7 people in the country to receive a double arm transplant. And now, he’s about to shake hands with his own hero, country superstar and Voice coach Blake Shelton.
Marrocco, 26, is still recovering from the rare operation and can only partially move and feel his new donor arms at this point. However, he told reporters the first person he’d like to shake hands with once he’s able—following his doctors—is Shelton.
A fan tweeted the local news story to Shelton on Tuesday, prompting the singer to respond “Wow.. Speechless. I will make this happen!!”
He then noted that he was “completely honored” and addressed Marrocco directly on Twitter: “I can't WAIT to shake the hand of an American Hero/Stud... You my brother.”
Marrocco responded with an enthusiastic tweet--“holy mother of god!! I can’t wait I’m a huge fan and really looking forward to it. Thank you.”
No word yet on when the two will meet up, but it sounds as if it may be soon. Marrocco told local news on Tuesday that he has gained enough function since his surgery six weeks ago to comb his hair, text, and give his mom a hug.
His doctors are calling his recovery “remarkable” and that they believe he will be able to do anything he wants in a few years, including tossing a football. Marrocco says that—aside from shaking hands with Shelton—he is most looking forward to driving a car again, but that being alive is really all that matters.