Saturday, November 11, 2017

Face Transplant Recipient Meets Donor's Widow

Imagine the emotions you'd experience if you had a chance to see your deceased spouse's face on someone else. That's what happened to Lillian Ross. Her husband, Calen "Rudy" Ross, died last year, and was a designated organ donor. The staff at the Mayo Clinic approached Lillian about using Rudy's face for a patient who was awaiting a face transplant. The clinic team had been practicing for their first face transplant for more than three years. Andrew Sandness received a new face, including facial bones and teeth from Rudy, after ten years of living with profound disfigurement. The surgery required nine surgeons, a crew of 40 medical professionals, and 56 hours. After months of recovery and therapy, Sandness was able to greet Lillian Ross and express his appreciation.  

The not-so-warm-and-fuzzy side of the story is that both men were victims of suicide. Ross left Lillian a pregnant, 19-year-old widow. Sandness, on the other hand, got a second chance at life twice. Five other people also received various organs from Ross. (via Laughing Squid)

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