Double Arm Transplant Recipient: ‘A Restoration of my Life’

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In 2011, William Lautzenheiser’s life radically changed in a matter of days. By all accounts, William was following the plan for his life, pursuing a career in film-making and academia, when an aggressive Strep-A infection led to sepsis and ultimately necrotizing fasciitis, resulting in an amputation of all four limbs. William, realizing he had no choice over his new life, decided the best and only way to approach his new reality, is to “figure it out”.

Part of his journey of “figuring it out”, William decided to pursue stand-up comedy. His approach to humor was rooted in the idea that he did not want to be viewed as an object of pity.

After three years of living a life as a quadruple amputee and clearing a series of tests and exams, after a nine-hour double arm transplant procedure performed by Dr. Simon Talbot and his team at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston, MA, in October 2014, William began his new journey. William is now learning how to use his new arms through intensive rehab.

At a press conference, the New England Organ Bank shared a letter from the donor family who wanted to remain anonymous: “Our son gave the best hugs. We pray that you make a wonderful recovery and that your loved ones will be able to enjoy your warm embraces.”

Read the full article and watch the 10 min video at: http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/double-arm-transplant-recipient-restoration-my-life-n376766?cid=sm_fc

Recently, at the annual meeting of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), we had an incredible opportunity to hear William and Dr. Talbot share this story. William inspired us all with his approach to life and adversities. This picture was taken by The Alliance at the AOPO annual meeting social event.

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