26-year-old face transplant affected person reveals new face


Underwood, of Yuba Metropolis, California, sustained a self-inflicted gunshot to the face in June 2016. The intensive harm left him lacking most of his decrease jaw, his nostril and each tooth however one, an announcement mentioned. He additionally skilled harm to his higher face and palate.

Typical reconstructive surgical procedure, which he reportedly tried a number of instances, may solely accomplish that a lot.

Then, Underwood’s mom, Beverly Bailey-Potter, learn {a magazine} article about Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, a professor of reconstructive cosmetic surgery and the chair of the cosmetic surgery division at NYU Langone Well being.

“We knew he was the one individual to whom we might belief Cameron’s life,” she mentioned within the launch from the hospital. “We have been prepared to journey the lengthy distance.”

Because the first face transplant was finished in France in 2005, greater than 40 have been accomplished all over the world.

NYU Langone Well being has accomplished two of the procedures and has a delegated face transplantation program, certainly one of only a handful in the USA. Rodriguez accomplished two earlier face transplants, the primary at College of Maryland, and headed up a staff of greater than 100 medical professionals who tackled Underwood’s case.

The transplant surgical procedure lasted about 25 hours.

Cameron Underwood before his face transplant and nearly 11 months after the surgery.

Underwood’s journey has been marked by milestones.

The time between his harm and face transplant was nearly 18 months, the shortest interval between the 2 in publicly reported circumstances in the USA, the hospital mentioned.

That is important in serving to his bodily, emotional and psychological restoration, Rodriguez mentioned.

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“Cameron has not lived along with his harm for a decade or longer like most different face transplant recipients have,” Rodriguez mentioned within the assertion. “Consequently, he has not needed to cope with lots of the long-term psycho-social points which regularly result in points like extreme despair, substance abuse, and different doubtlessly dangerous behaviors.”

Underwood additionally skilled one of many shortest wait instances for a donor, the hospital mentioned. As soon as he was accepted for a transplant by NYU Langone and placed on the record for organ donation, he waited solely six months for the early January name that might change his life.

His donor was William Fisher, a 23-year-old resident of New York who was an aspiring filmmaker and author. Fisher, who registered as an organ donor when he was a teen, gave to extra than simply Underwood. He additionally gave his coronary heart, kidneys, liver, eyes and different tissues.

William Fisher of New York was the face donor.

In honoring her son’s needs, Fisher’s heartbroken mom received one thing in return.

“Being part of this expertise has been a supply of power for me throughout a really tough time,” she mentioned within the assertion. “I do not suppose I might have survived Will’s dying if not for Cameron. Cameron has his entire life forward of him — and I really like the concept that Willie helps him have a greater life.”

Underwood was discharged from the hospital in mid-February however initially stayed in New York for rehabilitation, which included speech remedy, and orthodontic remedy. By the top of March, he was residence in California — although he is made month-to-month journeys again to New York for followup visits.

He’ll stay on anti-rejection medication all through his life however to this point has responded effectively. And he is grateful for this second likelihood at life — and the medical staff and donor who made it attainable.

“We hope my expertise conjures up others who’ve extreme facial accidents to have hope, as I used to be impressed by others who got here earlier than me,” Underwood mentioned within the assertion. “The journey hasn’t been straightforward, but it surely’s been effectively price it.”

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