Four years ago Boston resident Will Lautzenheiser was pursuing a career in film-making and academia. After working at Boston University, he had landed his dream job as a film professor at Montana State University. 

But in the fall of 2011, an aggressive streptococcus infection made all four of his limbs essentially dead and doctors were forced to amputate them. 

Lautzenheiser learned about a possible arm transplant not long after he lost his limbs, but the transplant would most likely need immuno-suppressant drugs, leading to side-effects. But after a series of tests, he decided to go ahead with the nine-hour procedure at Brigham and Women’s hospital last fall. 

Now Lautzenheiser is slowly learning how to use his new limbs. Growth is painstakingly slow, but steady. The donor and his family wanted to remain anonymous but shared a statement through the New England Organ Bank:

“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 embrace.” 

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