Felix is born in Reykjavik, Iceland May 25th, 1972. He has 2 beautiful daughters, Rebekka Rut and Dilja, 22 and 18 years of age.
He graduated as an electrician with the highest score in his Class of ’97.
On January 12th, 1998 he got electrocuted in his line of work on a transmission line and lost both his arms. For a while the Doctors tried to keep as much as possible of his arms but due to chronic infections he had to undergo dozens of surgeries. 11 months later, in December 1998 they finally managed to stop the infection. Little stubs are what remain of his arms and they are approximately 4 inches on the right and less than 2 inches on the left.
Other consequences of the accident were a spine broken in 3 places; fractured neck joints. All of his ribs were loose and ten vertebrae had to be pinned as a result.
Felix’s liver also got damaged as it was under enormous pressure as his body kept degrading. Felix was finally strong enough to have a liver transplant in July of 2002 but it failed so he had to have another liver transplant a month later.
Soon thereafter, Felix started keeping up with news of hand transplants and in September 1998 the first successful transplant was performed. It was conducted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard, the head physician at Edouard Herriot Hospital in Lyon, France. Shortly thereafter, on January 24th, 1999 to be exact, the first such operation was performed in The United States. It was at the Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. Felix watched closely as it developed and applied to become a “potential patient” in Louisville. The Doctors didn’t think it was timely to perform such a huge surgery at the time, as up to 2008 the transplants had only been performed below the elbow. Moreover, the potential patient had to be a US citizen.
As an initiative of the French ambassador in Iceland, “French Spring in Iceland” or “Pourquoi Pas” was held in the spring of 2007. Among the events
was a lecture about transplants at The University of Iceland. The lecturer was Doctor Jean-Michel Dubernard. Shortly before the lecture, he and his team of Doctors, had performed the first successful face transplant. But as said before, they were also pioneers in hand transplants. Felix came across a news clip by a chance when he was watching the National TV Station. He was excited to try and find the Doctor and did so at Hotel Holt in Reykjavik. Doctor Dubernard agreed to meet him and after a brief examination, he gave Felix a promise to review his case and whatever the answer would be, he would justify it.
And so began the process of gathering medical records, having them translated and struggling with the national Health Care system. When Felix was told that the National Health Care would not support him in any way, as it would be the first surgery of it’s kind in the world and therefore be considered experimental. Felix decided to go to France at his own expense to see if performing the surgery was even a possibility. In the meantime in 2008, a successful full arm transplant was performed in Germany. A German farmer had lost both his arms above the elbow. This gave Felix and his case great hope for success.
Felix then went to France in early February and again at the end of May 2011, where he went through series of tests.
Felix has worked diligently to prepare himself for such a huge surgery and he, among other things, ran 10k in the Reykjavik Marathon 2011. Additionally, he is studying French with Alliance Francaise and is on his 3rd year there.
On September 9th, 2011 the French Doctors decided after a careful consideration, to perform the surgery on Felix.