WHITE HALL, Md. (WJZ) — The man who received the world’s most complex face transplant ever meets with the Maryland family that donated it. Those emotional moments — on camera for the first time.
Rick Ritter with the newest chapter in that amazing surgery that was performed right here in Maryland.READ MORE: Baltimore City Receives $2M In Funding For Minority Owned Business Development
It was at the University of Maryland Medical Center where Richard Norris had that 36-hour groundbreaking operation. For the first time with cameras rolling, he sat down with the Maryland family that made it all possible.
It’s a story tearing at the hearts of many — video from 60 Minutes Australia shows a dramatic reunion as a sister gets to see and feel how her brother gave one man new life.
In 1997, Richard Norris accidentally blew his face off with a shotgun, leaving him disfigured with no nose, lips or teeth.
Depressed, the Virginia man lived in hiding — until another tragic accident gave him hope.
In 2012, 21-year-old Joshua Aversano of White Hall, Maryland died after he was hit by a van.
In a brave move, Josh’s family donated his face to Norris.READ MORE: Woman Found Dead In East Baltimore Fire Was Shot Beforehand, Police Say
After a risky, 36-hour operation at University of Maryland Medical Center, it was the first successful face transplant of its kind.
In White Hall, WJZ had a chance to speak with Josh’s family. They didn’t want to go on camera, but acknowledged how amazed they are with the improvement of Richard’s face.
For Josh’s sister Rebekah, it’s surreal. A piece of her brother lives on.
Last summer, Norris showed off the transformation in GQ Magazine.
The Aversano family says they hope it inspires others, raising awareness for organ donation.
According to reports, Richard now has a girlfriend, as he’s back to living a public life.MORE NEWS: Maryland State Police To Assist U.S. Capitol Police With Security Ahead of Justice For J6 Protest
It took a team of 150 doctors and nurses to complete the operation.