Atilla Kavdir, Turkey's world-famous triple-arm transplant recipient, is dead after succumbing to heart and kidney failure.
Kavdir had his right leg and both of his arms replaced by surgeons at Akdeniz University in Turkey on Jan. 21, but he lost his life this afternoon, according to the Istanbul news outlet Today's Zaman. He was the second person in the history of Turkish medicine to receive a double-arm transplant.
Atilla Kavdir's wife of 17 years, Ay?e Kavd?r, told the Hurriyet Daily News in April that the surgery was like a miracle:
We had always dreamed of this day. Hopefully, I will also see the day when my husband wears an engagement ring on his fingers and puts on a watch on his wrist.
Atilla Kavdir lost the three limbs when he was just 11 years old, but he was able to have them replaced when the family of Ahmet Kaya -- a Turkish train accident victim who was declared brain-dead in mid-January -- donated his limbs to Kavdir, Today's Zaman reported.
Kaya's face was also donated to medicine, and was transplanted onto 19-year-old U?ur Acar in Turkey's first successful face-transplant surgery.
Atilla Kavdir's body accepted Kaya's arms in what would have been the world's first successful triple-limb transplant, but Kavdir's body rejected the new leg a day after the surgery, and surgeons were forced to amputate it, according to Today's Zaman.
The death of Kavdir so saddened folks around the world that his name was a worldwide trending topic this morning on Twitter.
But it appears that Atilla Kavdir had some joy in his final months, as he told the Hurriyet Daily News in April:
I have been living without arms for 23 years; I want to hold my wife's and children's hands and drive a motorbike or a car perhaps ... I was deeply moved the moment I saw my children and my relatives waiting for me in front of my house. Everyone is jubilant that I have returned back home. We are living this joy [together] as a family.