United States Marine Sergeant John Peck thought it was over six years ago. His dream. His lifelong aspiration extinguished after an explosion took from him all four of his limbs, while fighting in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

His goal of becoming a world-class chef, gone.

That was the thinking … up until this week. Because a team of 60 doctors worked on Peck, 31, and gave him back a gift he didn’t think he’d ever see again — using his arms.

In an incredible procedure that’s been done only once before for a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (former Army Sgt. Brendan Marrocco — who’s reportedly doing great, by the way), the skilled surgeons and nurses at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts worked on Peck for 14 hours, led by Dr. Simon Talbot, director of upper extremity transplantation at the facility.

And they think it’s going to be fully-successful, with the retired Marine getting the feeling back in his nerves completely in about nine to 12 months.

While the family of the donor would not like to be identified, they should be commended publicly for changing the life of a real American hero, Peck, someone who sacrificed so much to fight for his country.

This from NPR:

“My deepest condolences to my donor’s family,” said Peck as his voice cracked.

“I’m not even going try to know what you’re going through at this time. But I will tell you this: Your loved one’s death will not be for nothing. Every day that I look down at our new arms, I will drive on through the pain and I will never give up.”

Peck suffered a traumatic brain injury in August 2007 while serving in Iraq. After his rehabilitation from that injury, he re-enlisted in the Marines in 2009.

We encourage everyone to read the Washington Post‘s full profile on Peck by clicking here.

We also look forward to skipping through the channels in the near future, landing on the Food Network, and seeing Mr. Peck creating palate-dazzling cuisine on Chopped.

For it’s written in the Michelin stars.