The nation’s first full face transplant recipient said the first thing his young daughter told him when she saw him after the operation was, “Daddy, you’re so handsome.”
Dallas Wiens, sporting a goatee and dark sunglasses, joined surgeons Monday at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in his first public appearance since the 15-hour procedure in March.
“It feels natural,” saysd the 26-year-old Fort Worth, Texas, man, who received a new nose, lips, skin, muscle and nerves from an anonymous donor. “It feels as if it’s my own.” The operation was paid for by the US military, which hopes to use findings from the procedure to help soldiers with severe facial wounds.
Wiens’ features were all but burned away and he was left blind after hitting a power line while painting a church in November 2008.
Surgeons said the transplant was not able to restore his sight, and some nerves were so badly damaged from his injury that he will probably have only partial sensation on his left cheek and the left side of his forehead.