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French Double-arm Transplant Woman Plays Piano Again

French Double-arm Transplant Woman Plays Piano Again

Wednesday, 31 January, 2018 - 06:30
Caroline plays with transplanted arms. Asharq Al-Awsat AR

A 37-year-old French woman has vowed to resume playing the piano, her favorite hobby, and managed to move her left hand after receiving arms' transplant.

Six months ago, Caroline survived what she describes as a "horror movie,” saying that at that terrible moment when she saw her arms detached from her body, she did not imagine she would live and return to playing the piano.

On August 14, Caroline tried to catch up with a train at the Chambéry station, eastern France, but she fell on the track and the wheels cut off many of her limbs.

Thanks God, surgeons at the University Hospital of Grenoble made a miracle bringing back Caroline’s arms that had been amputated from above her elbows. The surgery was the first successful one of its kind in France. Caroline stayed for a month and a half in the hospital before going through difficult months of rehabilitation at a specialized center.

Once she managed to move her arms and control them, she requested to try to practice her previous hobby. She successfully pressed the keys of the musical instrument using the bandages covering her fingers.

Caroline used to undergo two hours of massage and physiotherapy sessions with the help of a specialist, followed by an hour and a half of practical therapy, every day. After a while, she saw some progress; she raised her arms to both sides, and then lift them to form a 90 degree angle. She also regained the ability to bend her elbows.

Although happy with this progress, she hopes that she will be able to move her fingers at a later stage. However, physiotherapists believe this will take longer time, and surgeons say there is some hope that she can use her fingers one day.

Caroline admits that the doctors told her she will always suffer from the effects of the harsh accident and that her arms will never return exactly as they were before. However, this does not frustrate her, instead, it gives her a stronger determination.

She tells her visitors that the rehabilitation center is not a sports club where people come to beautify their bodies, but, it is a place of struggle and pain. She adds that patients must make great efforts to observe little progress, but hope can ''move the mountains''.

"Who would have believed that I would get out alive from under the wheels of a train?" She concluded with a beautiful smile.

After the accident, surgeons had to amputate Caroline's left foot, but, today she can stand up without losing her balance and without crutches.

She is happy with her achievements and aims to continue her life normally, although she still has a long path to walk before she fully recovers.

The piano lover likes to share her story with media and newspapers because her experience could give hope to many people who were heavily wounded in road accidents. Her optimism helps those who suffer like her to cling to treatment and to continue living their lives just the way they are.

Today, she cautiously lays her fingers on the piano, but she has not lost hope of playing a small piece of music one day.

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