Second American receives face transplant - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/21/09

Second American receives face transplant

By Cassie Hataway | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The nation's second face transplant, a Boston man, has a new lease on life after undergoing a partial face transplant last month.  On April 9th, James Maki became the second partial face transplant recipient in the U.S. 

He was badly disfigured almost four years ago after he fell onto an electrified subway rail.  Surgeons used a donor face to replace Maki's nasal structure, nose, upper lip, facial skin, muscles, and nerves.  The surgery took 17-hours for the more than three dozen doctors working together on this. 

Thursday, Maki had a chance to meet the wife of the donor and told her, "I just appreciate I have a chance to start a new life, cause the first part of my life nothing but trouble so I'm just glad I can start over."  Susan Whitman-Helfgot, the donor's wife, said, "Joseph's life ended in vain too soon, but not really, because it's been my great joy now to meet Jim and find him able to breathe, and to speak and to eat on his own for the first time in four years".

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