A Texas man has become the first person in the United States to have a full face transplant. A 30-person team of doctors worked for 15 hours to give him a new face.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, 25-year-old Dallas Wiens lost most of his face in a high-voltage accident in November 2008 when his head touched a live power cable.
Doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston had to replace Wiens's entire face, including his nose, lips, skin, muscles and nerves. Wiens is reported to be doing well. He is talking and gradually being taken off his medication.
Before the surgery, Wiens told The Dallas Morning News, "I see every day as a challenge, an opportunity for hope and joy.
"I'm a little nervous as you can expect with any major procedure like this. I'm extremely excited over the possibility of just having a normal life back. There's no words to describe what that would be like."
Wiens's recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. Following the accident, he spent three months in a medically induced coma, while doctors performed more than 20 surgeries on him.
Even still, he was expected to be paralyzed from the neck down and never walk, talk or eat regular food again. But he regained his health and now is able to do 15 push-ups daily.
Three people have had face transplants before in the U.S., but Wiens is the first to have his entire face replaced. The first full face transplant was done last year in Spain. Eleven face transplants have been performed worldwide since 2005 -- nine of them successfully.