Illustrative: US Marines
Illustrative: US MarinesFlash 90

Retired Marine Corps Sgt. John Peck, 31, received a double arm transplant in August and appeared before the cameras, for the first time on Wednesday, to show off his new arms.

Peck served as a minesweeper which is considered to be one of the riskiest jobs. He was injured after a land mine exploded next to him in an operation in Afghanistan, causing him to lose both of his arms and legs.

In an emotional statement before the cameras, Peck expressed his deepest condolences to the donor’s family and thanked them for his selflessness and his gift. He said that he would overcome the pain and never take the precious gift for granted. He also stated that his dream has always been to become a chef and, because of his donor’s gift, he has a chance of making that dream a reality. He also mentioned that the most precious gift will be the ability to hold and feel his fiancée’s hand.

The surgery, which lasted 14 hours, initially involved the armbones, then the muscles and, finally, the nerves. This type of surgery has only been completed 70 times in the world. The organ donor asked to remain anonymous.

Peck has a long road to recovery and can currently lift his new arms but has to be cautious as the bones, muscles, blood vessels and skin are still healing.