Wow, thanks to the University of Maryland Medical Center:

The University of Maryland released details today on the recovery of Richard Lee Norris, the 37-year-old man who received the most extensive full face transplant completed to date seven months ago. Norris, of Hillsville, Virginia, was injured in a 1997 gun accident, losing much of his upper and lower jaws as well as his lips and nose. The transplant surgery, completed on March 20, 2012 at the University of Maryland Medical Center, included replacement of both jaws, teeth, tongue, and skin and underlying nerve and muscle tissue from scalp to neck.

“For the past 15 years I lived as a recluse hiding behind a surgical mask and doing most of my shopping at night when less people were around,” says Norris. “I can now go out and not get the stares and have to hear comments that people would make. People used to stare at me because of my disfigurement. Now they can stare at me in amazement and in the transformation I have taken. I am now able to walk past people and no one even gives me a second look. My friends have moved on with their lives, starting families and careers. I can now start working on the new life given back to me.” …

Norris continues to gain sensation in his face and is able to smile and show expression. His doctors say the motor function on the right side of his face is about 80 percent normal, and motor function on the left side is about 40 percent. He eats primarily by mouth and is able to smell and taste.

Norris’ historic 36-hour full face transplant was led by Eduardo D. Rodriguez, M.D., D.D.S., professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of plastic, reconstructive and maxillofacial surgery at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Norris’ surgery marked the first time in the world that a face transplant was performed by a team of plastic and reconstructive surgeons with specialized training and expertise in craniofacial surgery and reconstructive microsurgery.

Richard Norris has regained his capacity to live a full life, thanks to an amazing team of doctors.

  • Kyle Haight

    That is truly amazing, and wonderful for Mr. Norris. It’s always good to be reminded of just how clever human beings are, when they’re free to think and act.

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