Double arm transplant woman vows to play piano again

A woman who was the first ever in France to receive a double-arm “transplant” has survived and vowed to play the piano again one day.

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Caroline, who lost both her arms in a train accident in late August, was taken to hospital in Grenoble (the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Grenoble Alpes (CHUGA)) with both of her arms severed from her body, and was in surgery having them both re-attached just two hours later.

She does not yet have much feeling or movement in her arms, and doctors have said that it will take her at least one year of physiotherapy, if not longer, to gain movement back in her fingers, but she is adamant that she will prevail.

“[I hope to] live a normal life, and go further than they say I will. I want to play the piano again, knit, and work in my vegetable patch,” she said, speaking to local newspaper France Bleu Isère. “I know it is going to be a long and difficult [road], but I am ready. I won’t drop anything. I want to get the most out of life.”

Caroline also lost her left foot in the accident, which sadly could not be saved, but she has also said she intends to walk again regardless.

The exact circumstances of the accident are unclear, but Caroline explained that she had run for the train, thinking that she was “Indiana Jones and could do it”, she said.

“I remember falling against the platform, and when the train went past, I saw my two arms there on the other side of the tracks. That’s when I called for help.”

She reportedly stayed conscious until emergency services arrived, and both her arms were then taken to hospital in perfect condition - having been preserved in ice from a nearby café - leading them to be re-attached.

She thanked everyone who helped her after the accident, from the first person present on the platform to the barman who provided ice for her arms, to the paramedics who were first on the scene, and the doctors who operated on her.

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