This is absolutely incredible. Pictures of the world’s first nearly full face transplant have been released, and I don’t see how anyone couldn’t be in awe of this amazing feat.
Connie Culp, the recipient of the face of a dead woman whose family donated her face to this cause, was shot in the face 5 years ago. Bullet fragments tore up the mid section of her face leaving her with no nose, right eye or upper jaw.The injuries were extensive and life changing, and the mother of two lived a life where children cowered away in fear and called her a monster.
Five months ago, Connie received a face transplant. A team of doctors led by Dr. Maria Siemionow replaced her lower eyelids, sinuses, upper jaw, nose, skin muscle, bones and more. It’s the world’s first nearly whole face transpant (4 have occurred before although less extensive), and Connie had gone through 30 surgeries before then, undergoing multiple skin graphs, even having bone removed from her ribs to try and help remake the bones in her face.
In case you were wondering, this is Connie before her horrific injuries, here she is:
Reportedly, Connie’s husband shot her in 2004 before taking a gun to himself. Before the transplant, Connie needed a tube to breath through her windpiipre. She couldn’t eat solid foods or smell. Now she can smell, smile and taste again. During the 22 hour operation on Dec 22nd, doctors remarkably replaced 80% of her face. Doctors say she’ll have to take immune-suppressing drugs for the rest of her life, and they plan to get rid of some of the droopiness and excess tissue as time goes on. Wow. This is one of those instances that inspired you to take pause and think about what we can do… the pain we can inflict, the hurt we can endure, the sacifices we can make, the science we can tame. Truly incredible.