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.
Stonehenge, a Neolithic wonder in southern England, has vexed historians and archaeologists for centuries with its many mysteries: How was it built? What purpose did it serve? Where did its towering sandstone boulders come from? That last question may finally have an answer after a study published on July 29 found that most of the giant stones — known as sarsens — seem to share a common origin 25km away in West Woods, an area that teemed with prehistoric activity. The finding boosts the theory that the megaliths were brought to Stonehenge about the same time: around 2,500 BC, the monument’s second
A bowl of grass jelly, and the childhood memories associated with it, is perfect for taking the edge off of the sweltering summer heat. Grass jelly is made by boiling dried mesona plants and adding a gelling agent such as agar to the mesona tea. This summer, the traditional treat has been given an artistic, dreamy new look with the National Palace Museum’s (NPM) “Ink-painting Jelly,” a collaboration with the Taiwanese company BlackBall Grass Jelly. When cream is poured over the jelly, a mountain design imprinted on the top of the black jelly emerges, forming a mountain scene with
A: Thirty seconds to go until the results come in. Have you got your lottery tickets at the ready? B: Yep. I’m starting to feel a bit nervous. A: Me too. I have butterflies in my stomach. Here we go. B: Eight … 19 … 37. Yes! I’m on a roll! A: I haven’t had a single one of my numbers come up yet. B: I just need a 6 or a 15 and I’m in the money! Come on, come to papa! Argh, no: I’m all out of luck. A: Oh well: nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’ll put the kettle on. Let’s