A Virginia man who was severely disfigured after being shot in the face in 1997 has successfully undergone what University of Maryland Medical Center doctors are calling the most extensive and advanced face transplant ever preformed.
Doctors are saying that Richard Lee Norris is recovering extremely well after the 36-hour surgery. Although specific details about the accident are slim, it has been described that Norris’ injuries led him to remove himself from the outside world. Norris suffered obvious cosmetic disfiguration, but he also lost his teeth, tongue, and sense of smell. Norris also endured numerous corrective surgeries over the past decade since the accident.
The face transplant is actually a face from donor who matched Norris’ skin color, blood type and facial structure. The transplant has proven beneficial in more ways than just aesthetically. Three days into his recover, Norris amazingly recovered his sense of smell.
This is the 23 face transplant attempted since 2005 when French doctors preformed the first on a female canine attack victim.
The U.S. military has been helping fund the research and development of this procedure and has a long list of candidates awaiting transplants.