In 2009 his armored vehicle was hit by a bomb in Iraq. He lost both legs and both arms... becoming the first U.S. service member to live through a quadruple amputation. But now another miracle. Marrocco has two new arms transplanted 6 weeks ago by doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
"It's given me a lot of hope for the future. I feel like I'm given a chance to start over after I got hurt."
A complicated surgery that involved connecting bones, blood vessels, nerves and muscles from a deceased donor to Marrocco's own. He's only the seventh person in the U.S. to have successful double hand transplants. For Johns Hopkins Hospital, this is a first surgery of its kind. Doctors say he was the perfect candidate -- upbeat and optimistic.
"Since I got hurt, I still thought of myself as being normal. I hated the word handicapped. I never really looked at it like that. I am just looking forward to doing everything I would have wanted to do over the last four years."
Even something ordinary, like scratching his face, is a victory. Marrocco says he can't fully feel his new arms, but he is gaining function. He's able to text and comb his hair. Doctors say in a few years, there's very little he won't be able to do.
"I think he'll be able to try and throw a football. I don't know if he'll be hitting 60 yard runs down like Joe Flacco was able to do against the Broncos. But I suspect he'll get there."
Marrocco says the first person he wants to shake hands, that is after his doctors, country music star Blake Shelton. Right now he has enough use of his new arms to give his mom a hug this way.
"For now. He can't lift. But we'll get there. He's a tough cookie, without a doubt. He's not changed that. And he's just taken that, made an art form. He's never going to stop being that boy that I always knew was going to be a pain in my butt forever and he's going to show people how to live their life."
Read more about Brendan's amazing story here