If you have the New York Times’ app on your phone, you may have been awoken this morning by an urgent push notification that demanded your immediate attention. But unlike an Amber Alert or a new study about how the world is coming to an end at an even quicker pace than we’d imagined — way too much for a Monday, right? — this story was considerably happier. At least it was for the man at its center — a cancer survivor who just received the first successful penis transplant in the United States.
Meet Thomas Manning, a 64-year-old bank courier who lost his penis to cancer and just underwent a highly experimental procedure that involved more than 15 hours of surgery to give him a functioning penis — something that doctors are calling “lifesaving” on the whole due to the psychological benefits such a transplant can have. Manning who is overjoyed by the success said that for him it was all about “going back to who I was.” Doctors are hoping he’ll be able to urinate in several weeks and then gain sexual use of his genitals some time after that. If all goes well, this could be a big step in helping others who have suffered similar fates, especially veterans.