Tags: patrick hardison | face | transplant | success | plastic | surgery

Patrick Hardison's Face Transplant Revealed to the World

Image: Patrick Hardison's Face Transplant Revealed to the World
Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, MD, DDS, chair, Hansjorg Wyss Dept. Plastic Surgery, NYU Langone, holds a press conference at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City November 16, 2015 to announce the successful completion of the most extensive face transplant to date. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 Nov 2015 09:11 AM

Patrick Hardison's face transplant was revealed to the world this week after the former Mississippi firefighter's doctor unveiled his new appearance 88 days after he underwent a 26-hour procedure.

Hardison was just 27 when his entire face was badly burned after he got caught inside a burning house 14 years ago, NBC News reported. Everything — including his lips, eye lids, and ears — was beyond repair. 

That is, until he met Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, chairman of New York University Langone Medical Center's plastic surgery department.

"The type of injury that he had, there was no more that they could do to help," Rodriguez told NBC News.

Rodriguez performed a complete face transplant on Hardison in August using the scalp and face of 26-year-old David Rodebaugh, a BMX bicycling competitor and artist who died in an accident in July. Hardison had only a 50-percent chance of surviving the extremely risky procedure, which involved removing and replacing blood vessels, lips, and the delicate eye lids.

The transplant of the eyelids was particularly important for Hardison, whose vision had begun to decline with his original face.

"People don't understand how hard it is just to face the day," Hardison said, according to New York magazine. "And it doesn't end. It's every day. I was a 40-year-old man waiting for my mother to drive me around. I lost everything. I was so young."

The 41-year-old, who still works as a volunteer firefighter, met his ex-wife and five children again on Oct. 8, some nine weeks after the face transplant surgery.

"No matter how big of a medical miracle it may be, that doesn't make it comfortable for his kids," ex-wife Chrissi told New York magazine. "It's still having to adjust to someone else's face on his body."

Hardison received a warm embrace and tears from family members when they saw him.

"When I see his face, I want to memorize it, so the next time I see him, I know it's my dad," one son told the magazine.

Rodriguez, who held a press conference Monday, told ABC News that the feeling in Hardison's face has started to return and he will continue to make improvements. He said that seeing his patient smile was "amazing for me personally because all these gambles that we take, there are predictable risks that we take, to finally see that activated . . . watching all these milestones be met, I start feeling better and better."

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Patrick Hardison's face transplant was revealed to the world this week after the former Mississippi firefighter's doctor unveiled his new appearance 88 days after he underwent a 26-hour procedure.
patrick hardison, face, transplant, success, plastic, surgery
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2015-11-17
Tuesday, 17 Nov 2015 09:11 AM
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