Wed, Jul 29, 2009 - Page 17 News List

World’s first arm transplant man dreams of raising a beer 全球第一例雙臂移植男子夢想舉杯慶祝

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The world’s only recipient of two full arms in a landmark transplant operation said he expected to be able to toast the success of the procedure with a good Bavarian beer soon.

Karl Merk, a dairy farmer from the southern German city of Munich who lost both arms in a work accident, showed off his new-found mobility, waving his arms around and scratching his head for the cameras a year after his operation.

Asked if he was able to drink a glass of beer in typical Bavarian fashion, Merk said: “Well, yeah, at the moment I’m drinking from a straw otherwise it would be a bit dangerous but it should happen soon.”

However, he said his life was “basically back to normal” after the 15-hour surgery carried out by around 40 doctors, surgeons and nurses on July 25 and 26 last year.

“My biggest dream is to be able to move my fingers a bit and basically do everything independently for myself,” Merk added.

Nevertheless, Merk said he was able to enjoy simple pleasures again.

“It’s going really well. I often go with my wife to walk the dog,” he said.

He demonstrated some of the grueling rehabilitation exercises he must perform daily to regain strength, crossing his arms several times for the cameras.

The transplant, carried out at the teaching hospital of the Technical University in Munich, was a pioneering operation and the only one ever performed.

The five teams working in two operating theaters gathered at 10:00pm the night of the operation, one on each side of the patient and the donor, who had died only hours before. A fifth group removed a leg vein from the donor.

(AFP)

全球唯一一位成功移植完整雙臂的男子表示,他希望不久後就能高舉好喝的巴伐利亞啤酒,慶祝這項劃時代手術的成功。

德國南部慕尼黑市的酪農卡爾.梅爾克在一場工作意外中喪失雙臂,手術完成一年後,他在攝影鏡頭前展示重建的行動力,他揮動雙臂,搔了搔頭。

被問及他能否用典型的巴伐利亞方式喝杯啤酒,梅爾克說:「唔,沒錯,現在我還是用吸管喝飲料,否則會有點危險,不過應該不久後就能這麼做了。」

不過,他說手術後他的生活「基本上已回歸正常」了。 去年七月二十五、二十六日,約四十位醫生、外科醫生和護理人員花了十五個小時進行這項移植手術。

梅爾克還說:「我最大的夢想是能稍微動動手指,而且起碼可以靠自己獨立完成所有事。」

然而,梅爾克說他又能重新享受單純的滿足了。

他說:「一切都很好,我常和我太太一起去遛狗。」

他示範了一些累人卻每天都得進行的肌力復健運動,還在鏡頭前數次交叉手臂供記者拍照。

這項史無前例的雙臂移植先驅手術,是由慕尼黑科技大學教學醫院操刀。

手術當天晚上十點,五組醫療人員在兩間手術室集合,他們分別在梅爾克和那位才過世幾小時的捐贈者身邊待命。第五組人馬則負責取下捐贈者一條腿上的靜脈。

(法新社╱翻譯:袁星塵)

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