ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A New Mexico native helped head up a surgical team at Johns Hopkins Hospital that successfully completed a double arm transplant for a U.S. soldier.
Brendan Marracco lost both arms and legs in roadside bombing in Iraq in 2009. A month ago a team of 16 surgeons were able to give Marracco two new arms during 13 hours of surgery.
Marracco showed off his arms to the world on Tuesday.
Dr. Jaimie Shores, who was raised in Truth or Consequences, was the first to meet with Marracco a year and a half earlier and along with a team of other specialists helped determine he was a good candidate for the transplant.
Shores then helped created a surgical plan, ensure the donor was a good fit and make sure everything else fell into place before the surgery. Shores also played a key role during the surgery itself.
Shores graduated from Hot Springs High School in T or C in 1992 and from the University of New Mexico Medical School. He is now the clinical director for the hand-transplant program at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
"I am thrilled to be a part of this." Shores told KRQE News 13 in a phone interview Thursday.
Despite New Mexico getting a bad rap for its public education, Shores says he feels like he got everything he needed here.
"When you grow up in a place like T or C, a small town where you know the teachers, they know you, they know your parents, they know what you do on the weekends, everyone has an interest in each other's success," he said. "I feel like all my teachers invested in me."
The doctor said the best part of this journey is who he was able to help.
"Brendan is on of the most deserving people of something like this you will ever meet," Shores continued. "Not only did he sacrifice everything in his service to our country, but he has tremendous spirit. His outlook on life is still terrific."
Shores said his family still lives in New Mexico. His parents and three brothers are spread between Las Cruces and Albuquerque.
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