The world’s first full face transplant patient appeared on TV today for the first time since surgery to thank the donor’s family and his doctors. His name is Oscar, and “he spoke with difficulty,” which is only to be expected considering his extreme surgery, which took 24 hours, during which doctors basically replaced his entire face — including teeth and eyelids — with another.
Oscar is a Spanish farmer who accidentally shot himself in the face five years ago and was either lucky or unlucky enough to get the first full face transplant ever, depending on whether you’re a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty kind of person. Things seem pretty good though:
He is now able to drink liquids and eat soft foods, and has been able to speak for the past two months, the hospital said in a statement. The patient also has regained feeling in most of his face and is partly recovering movement of his muscles. One good sign was that a week after the operation, he had to be shaved because of beard growth.
He’s obviously still recovering, and while the picture is a bit startling — he just had his whole face replaced. Wow. Just…wow. ABC has a gallery called Face Transplants, Now and Then, which shows how insane and absolutely fucking amazing this whole process is (if you didn’t think so already).
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 26, 2010