A 41-year-old volunteer firefighter, Patrick Hardison, resident of Senatobia, Mississippi underwent severe facial burns during an encounter with a residential fire in 2001.
The disaster left his face completely disfigured and turned around his life as he lost his eye lids, ears, lips, a major part of his nose, and facial hair. Following the incident, Hardison had always worn a cap, sunglasses, and prosthetic ears to cover up his wounds in public, and quietly lived the emotional and physical trauma of the event.
However, seeing his condition a group of face transplant surgeons came together to carry out one of the most extensive procedures ever.
The surgery that had more than a 100 people working in two teams on Hardison, involved him receiving the face of 26-year-old brain dead, David Rodebaugh, who was left in a vegetative state after a cycling incident.
Hardison who underwent the surgery in August is now said to be recovering, and gladly his body hasn’t rejected the new face, which could mean the procedure was a success.
“He just had a gyro at one of the sub shops” said lead surgeon Eduardo Rodriguez. He went on to state that in six months Hardison would not only be able to eat normal food but his speech would improve and the intense swelling should diminish dramatically.
"I am deeply grateful to my donor and his family," Hardison said in a statement. "Even though I did not know who they would be, I prayed for them every day, knowing the difficult decision they would have to make in order to help me. I hope they see in me the goodness of their decision. I also want to thank Dr. Rodriguez and his amazing team. They have given me more than a new face. They have given me a new life."
The transplant is indeed a major milestone in the history of surgery and only gives us hope of all the possibilities medicine will be able to achieve in the coming years.
Check out the touching video above.