BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The world’s most complex face transplant ever was performed right here in Maryland. Now the patient is showing off his new image on the pages of a national magazine.
Mary Bubala has the story.
After an accident with a shotgun in 1997, Richard Norris lost most of his upper and lower jaw as well as his lips, teeth and tongue. But in 2012, he underwent a 36-hour groundbreaking operation at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
He received the first ever full face transplant from a donor. Now Norris is showing that transformation to the world on the pages of GQ Magazine.
Norris tells the magazine he’s hoping to raise awareness for organ donation.
He made one of his first public appearances right here in Baltimore at the Shock Trauma Gala in April of last year. He honored the more than 100 medical personnel involved in his surgery who gave him a new face, teeth, tongue and jaw.
“To the heroes who stand behind us, thank you,” Norris said.
Norris is still at risk of the donor tissue being rejected, but says he is living a near normal life.
Norris is now 39-years-old and says he is taking college courses online. He continues to live in rural Virginia near his mother. She’s the one who originally contacted doctors here in Baltimore about helping her son.
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