In 2001, Mississippi firefighter Pat Hardison got into a horrible accident.
While he was saving the people and the house, the roof of the house collapsed onto him.
The accident was so bad that his coworkers couldn’t believe that he survived.
Hardison’s face and body were mutilated from the burns. Whenever he went out even for a short time, he disguised himself with sunglasses and a hat to avoid the dirty looks from strangers. It was hard for him to stand those looks. And he had lived with his mutilated face for 15 years.
However, doctors at New York University found a solution to get his face back. In NYU Langone Medical Center, doctors figured out how to transplant another person’s face onto Hardison’s head.
The face donor was Dave Rodebaugh, a 26-year-old victim of a bicycling accident.
The surgery had 50% chance of survival. Doctors were not sure whether they would succeed or not but they were fortunate.
The surgery was SUCCESSFUL.
Right after the transplant, his face was not fully healed but after a year, he has an absolutely healthy face.
“Now I’m just the average guy walking down the street,” Hardison told CBS news. “People — they can look at me and tell something’s happened, but they would never look at me and think that I’d had a face transplant.”
Hardison said one of the things he is most looking forward to doing is meeting the mother of the donor.
“We reached out to her. She knows that we’re ready when she’s ready. … We are all anxious and excited for the day when we meet her,” he said.
“His mother,” Hardison said, “she gave me a gift, and there is no way I could ever thank her enough.”
Not all of his family member agreed to the surgery.
His eldest daughter Alison didn’t want him to get a surgery because she was so afraid that she might lose her father. But when Hardison told her daughter the reason for the surgery and how important it is, she showed her support for his surgery.
“He said, ‘I won’t have to wear a ball cap, and I won’t have to wear my sunglasses. I’ll look normal whenever I get to walk you down the aisle,’” Alison said. “And that right then pretty much sealed the deal for me.”
It is a miracle that was brought to Hardison family. Hardison said that he thought he would never have a normal face just like other. It was a dream for him to just stay normal in the crowd.
What an amazing job done by doctors at NYU Langone Medical Center!
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