Richard Norris’ face transplant results have been revealed. Following a gun-related accident, Norris spent 15 years living as a recluse. He now has a new face and he is ready move forward with his life.
Norris suffered a gunshot to the face in 1997. The accident destroyed his nose, teeth, lower jaw, and half his tongue. Despite numerous surgeries, Norris was still terribly disfigured.
As reported by CBS News, Norris refused to leave his home unless he was wearing a hat and a mask. Even disguised, he would only go out at night. Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, who performed several of the surgeries, had to admit that they were running out of options.
Norris eventually fell into a deep depression. He describes the time following the accident as “10 years of hell.” Norris had given up hope for any significant reconstruction.
It was at that point when Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez approached Norris and suggested a new idea. Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center’s R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center were willing to perform a full facial transplant.
Facial transplants are rare as patients risk their lives for cosmetic purposes. Norris was given a 50 percent chance of surviving the procedure. Norris decided it was worth the risk.
Richard Norris’ face transplant was made possible by a tissue donation from Joshua Aversano. The 21-year-old was hit and killed by a minivan while crossing the street. Aversano’s family has stated that they “are grateful Joshua’s legacy continues.”
The surgery took 36 hours, and was the most extensive facial transplant ever performed. As reported by the Huffington Post, doctors had to reconstruct Norris’ upper and lower jaw, transplant teeth, and attach his new face from the scalp to the base of his neck.
The transplant is expected to last between 20 and 30 years. Norris will be on medication for the rest of his life to avoid problems with tissue rejection.
Richard Norris’ face transplant has given him a new life. He is currently attending classes online and writing a memoir. He states that he is no longer afraid to leave his home Despite the potential risks, Norris has never regretted his decision.
Richard Norris before and after the surgery: Slideshow
[Image via meltybuxx.fr]