Face Transplant Update - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/21/05

Face Transplant Update

We told you a few weeks ago that doctors at the Cleveland Clinic were looking for the right candidate to perform the worlds first face transplant. Unfortunately, they have sort of hit a snag. Because just the prospect of replacing one face with another has triggered heated debates over the ethics and risks linked to that transplant everything from identity crisis to death, but little has been heard from the surgeon who is spearheading the effort until Monday.

Dr. Maria Siemionow has been flooded with emails, from burn and trauma victims, who support this effort. She says she is not in a face to be first, but that this breakthrough procedure carries hope to those who are disfigured by trauma or disease.

"Many of them cannot feed themselves because they cannot open their mouths they can't not sleep at night because they cannot close their eyes," says Maria Seiminow M.D. and Ph.D. a transplant surgeon Cleveland Clinic.

"The looks, the stares, the comments that you get, where you just blend in. That's all I wanted to just look normal," says Gwen Arrington burn survivor.

Cleveland Clinic surgeons stress they have not chosen a candidate yet. There is no shortage of people who say they would like to be the first to try this. The hold-up is finding the right face to go first.

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