For fifteen years, Richard Norris had a face too hideous to show. Then, one day, a maverick doctor gave him a miracle too fantastic to believe. Richard got a face transplant, a new life, and a new set of burdens too strange to predict.
He is 37 year old who had sustained a shotgun facial injury requiring over 20 major reconstructive procedures including 2 separate free fibula tissue transfers to his maxilla and mandible.
A matching 21 year old male donor with irreversible traumatic brain injury was identified. Total face, double jaw, and tongue transplantation was performed in March 2012.
The 36-hour operation was the most extensive of its kind because it included transplantation of the teeth, upper and lower jaw, a portion of the tongue and all facial tissue from the scalp to the base of the neck, Dr Eduardo Rodriguez, the lead surgeon said. Because it included so much facial tissue, the incisions were further back and were less visible.
Credit: Dr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez