Fireman Gets Most Extensive Face Transplant
A volunteer firefighter whose face was severely burned in a 2001 home fire rescue has received the world’s most extensive face transplant at New York University Langone Medical Center.
In August, 41-year-old Patrick Hardison underwent a 26-hour surgery to attach the face of 26-year-old David Rodebaugh, a BMX bicycling enthusiast who was pronounced brain-dead after a cycling accident.
The transplant included the full scalp and face, including upper and lower eyelids, lips, ears, and nose.
Hardison can now blink and sleep with eyes closed, which has saved him from what seemed like inevitable blindness, according to plastic surgeon Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, who led the 150-person medical team that performed the transplant.
The medical team had to cut the skin at the back of the donor’s head and carefully peel each side forward, including essential pieces of bone at the chin, nose and cheekbones and then precisely apply it like a mask over Hardison’s head.
The $1 million surgery will be paid by NYU, which took the case after a fellow firefighter reached out and expressed how Hardison’s children were afraid of their father’s disfigured face.
Hardison thanked the donor’s family saying, “I hope they see in me the goodness of their decision.”
See the Before and After images.