Today we're supposed to officially hear from Brendan Marrocco, the first solider to survive after losing all four limbs in the Iraq war, about what it was like to receive a double-arm transplant on Monday — the seventh surgery of its kind ever performed in the United states — but we've been hearing a lot from the 26-year-old New Yorker on his Twitter account and in many an uplifting tale in the 24 hours leading up to his press conference at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital this afternoon. Here's what we know about him so far — aside from the fact that he is, you know, amazing.
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He's a survivor (and a New Yorker).
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Marrocco was injured by a roadside bomb in 2009, after which he was fitted with prosthetic legs and had been living in a special home on New York City's Staten Island that suffered major damage after Hurricane Sandy, reports the AP. While his ground-breaking surgery has thrust him back in the news (he hasn't spoken publicly beyond Twitter since the surgery), Marrocco was interviewed after his return from combat about his personal connection to war and 9/11. He expressed his now trademark enthusiastic selflessness in this 2001 interview with CBS New York:
I don’t think it’s appropriate because, like I said, I didn’t join because of 9/11. I wasn’t involved with 9/11 directly ... I don’t see why people make that connection. I don’t understand why people see me as a hero or anything like that because I was doing my job, doing what I loved.
He's a voluminous, inspiring tweeter.
He sure isn't shy, and that's kind of what's so winning about him:
But he's funny, too:
I guess it’s a decent day to be that Brendan Marrocco kid— Brendan Marrocco (@BMarr86) January 28, 2013
Ive been in the hospital since dec 17th.and yet another setback so now i get to stay longer! fucking outstanding...— Brendan Marrocco (@BMarr86) January 27, 2013
He's been documenting the entire prep and recovery process on Twitter too.
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With lots of smiling photos:
He got 70 stitches in his face.
He's got a two-foot scar.
And, yes, he knows it's badass:
As The New York Daily News reports, there's still a lengthy recovery period ahead: "Marrocco expects to spend three to four months at Hopkins, then return to a military hospital to continue physical therapy." We'll look forward to following his every word, photo, and tweet in the days ahead.