Felix Gretarsson lost both his arms in a work accident in Iceland in 1998. After years struggling with the consequences, he turned his life around and now lives in France, as he waits to receive the world's first full double arm transplant. (2020)
On January 12th, 1998, Felix Gretarsson lost both arms from the shoulders down, after a serious work related accident in Iceland . Over the following years, Felix’s life spiralled into an abyss as he lost his health, status, relationship and sense of identity. The huge challenges he faced were further compounded by addiction, his solution at the time to dealing with this seemingly hopeless situation.
In 2001, prompted by severe liver failure, he turned his life around, entering a drug and alcohol rehab, where he sobered up. The following year he underwent a liver transplant….twice !
With a fresh determination and the help of good family and friends, he managed to re-construct his personal life and build his own business in Iceland.
In 2007 a chance meeting with renowned French, transplant surgeon, Doctor Jean Michel Dubernard at a hotel in Reykjavik, brought to life Felix’s dream of becoming the world’s first full double arm transplant recipient.
4 years later, French surgeons agreed to do the transplant and Felix launched a nation-wide fund raising campaign in Iceland to help finance his move to France and pay for the operation.
In 2013, he moved to Lyon to wait while the transplant team prepared and practiced for this pioneering surgery. Finally in 2017, everything was in place, Felix was put on the transplant list and the search for a compatible donor began.
Felix’s friend, Dubliner Charlotte Devlin follows Felix over the course of two and a half years as he waits to make medical history, as the world’s first-ever recipient of a full double arm transplant.
Documentary on One: Felix, hears the remarkable story of the man who aims to change his life and make medical history.
Narrated by Charlotte Devlin
Produced by Charlotte Devlin and Tim Desmond
Felix , First broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 - Saturday 27th of June @2PM
Repeated on RTÉ Radio 1 - Sunday 28th of June @7PM
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries