Youngest person ever given new face in transplant surgery

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If you think you can stomach the graphic images of the surgery…

Nope, not even a chance. I’m keeping my mouse far, far from that link.


Here’s something you can probably stomach… the actual before and after images.


For those who haven’t read the article, those pictures are years apart. In between, she had no face.


OH wow - that’s some amazing stuff…

If you want even more facial trauma stories, look up the broken faces of WWI. With a war that consisted of a lot of people poking out of trenches, getting shot in the face happened a lot and some times they lived. They made all sort of prosthetic masks. This sort of thing was obviously a long way off technology wise.


One of my best and oldest friends is a prosthetist. I brag about her on a regular basis.


I have always thought that making prosthetics would be a cool job.


I’m surprised they allowed this for a person who attempted suicide. What if after all the cost, effort and medical skill to accomplish this she decides she can’t live any longer and does it again. This face could have gone to another person who needs it. They won’t give an alcoholic a transplant liver, I would think the same applies here. It’s a shame, she was an extremely beautiful young woman.

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Hmm, to your post I say yes and no. Who’s to say that she isn’t extremely grateful and a very changed person now? Sounds like she really wants to help others, and that’s as good a reason to live as any.

And people die all the time. Doctors have to know that their patients could die at any time—she could die in a road accident tomorrow, through no fault of her own (hope not); should her doctor have refused because she’s going to die one day anyway, as will we all?

And whether she lives a long time or not, there is always the advancement of medical science and experience that has been gained by this.

I don’t really have an opinion about it, these are just some thoughts that your post brought up for me.


That’s discussed a little in the article. They mention a previous face transplant of a man who had attempted suicide, and tried again and succeeded three years after his surgery. Then they discuss the intense psychological testing and interviews Katie went through and why they determined a face transplant was a safe risk to take for her.


Cracked had a rather thoughtful article on the subject.

The bit about the doctor in #3 is rather chilling.

“By the way, Jessica, there are two kinds of people in this world,” he said. “There are victims, who get hurt by someone, and we do everything in our power to help them and make sure they need as few surgeries as possible. The second person is the perpetrator. The criminal. Them, maybe we don’t help them as much as we should. We don’t help them as much as we have to because they don’t deserve it. And Jessica, you’re a perpetrator.”


All patients die eventually. Every. Single. One. Medicine isn’t about keeping people alive forever, it’s about extending and improving life for as long as possible.

Not true. About a quarter of liver transplants in the U.S. go to people who had alcoholism-related cirrhosis. Patients can generally improve their chances of getting on a transplant list by remaining sober for a period of time but even that is not a hard requirement.

This woman has managed to avoid killing herself for over three years, despite living with a disfigurement that might well prompt most anyone to think about ending it all. Who are we to deny her a chance at rebuilding her life?

Now that’s just an incredibly shallow thing to say. Would it be any better if she’d been ugly?


Not sure what the limiting factor is in the face transplant industry, but somehow I doubt it’s a lack of dead people with faces, or any special difficulty removing them. I’ll bet the hard part is something else.

I guess we could say this surgeon could have helped another person who needs help, maybe


It’s a bit bizarre how many really GOOD articles Cracked online had. Sadly I believe they scaled waaaay back on their out put like 8 months ago, closing down the video production side entirely.


ICYMI, a huge chunk of their staff was laid off (courtesy of their corporate overlords). Many of them wound up at The Modern Rogue.


Don’t want to derail the topic, but prosthetics are a good and acceptable solution for many folks that have suffered terrible facial trauma. I wasn’t up on the science of facial prosthetics until I watched the Boardwalk Empire series on cable a few years ago, with the tragic good guy / asassin character who had a prosthetic of tin covering half his face, and a glass eye. Tycho Brahe with his metal nose I knew about, but looking into the subject further, I learned how much we know about this science ( and I say art ) was spurred on by the horrors of WWI. Mister44, most of these injuries in WWI were from exposure to the caustic effects of mustard gas rather than rifle fire or shrapnel.


Really? Learned something new.

I have seen some of the newer prosthetic for people like missing noses and the like. It’s fancy silicone held in place with magnets.

[Andrea] was the third donor found in the time Katie waited for a face. Twice a donor had been identified and the clinic had alerted the Stubblefields. Twice the donors hadn’t worked out. For patients waiting for an internal organ, the only match requirements are compatible size, blood type, and, for some organs, tissue type. With faces, the sex must match, the skin tone must be similar, and the age must be reasonably close. That, along with the need to find a donor fairly nearby, means the pool is much smaller. Katie’s youth made it even smaller.


Faces were added to the list of organs in the national transplant system in 2014; the wait is unpredictable. The pool of candidates is very small, and the family of the potential donor must give permission to use the face, even if the person had registered as an organ donor.


To anyone who wants to write off someone who tried to commit suicide, read this:

TW is the title. No lies there.

And think about it for a good long time. It can happen to you, it can happen to those you love… It could be happening to them right now but, especially if they’ve picked up on your attitude, you don’t even know.

Someone who wants to, tries to, or succeeds in committing suicide is dealing with shit you literally cannot (and should not try to) imagine. Even if you think that you personally have survived worse, you haven’t had your brain telling you the same kinds of lies.

Imagine telling your best friend that you don’t think that they’re worth saving, or that resources spent trying to help them after the worst fucking day of their life are wasted. Guess what: every time you open your mouth and say that garbage about someone, you might be doing just that.

You want to have that opinion, fine. You want to keep that opinion, fine. You want to express that opinion? Go ahead, but don’t then start whining when everyone else’s opinion is that you’re an asshole.


I remember reading an article about suicide survivors who had leaped (lept?) off bridges… The great takeaway for me was that 100% of the people interviewed had changed their mind after they stepped off. Every one of them said they regretted it as they were falling.

To be so depressed that you try to kill yourself is a truly horrific mindset, one filled with pain and hopelessnes that many people can not fathom. My experience working in the ER agrees with that study - so many people change their mind after they try, whether their attempt was successful or not.

One of the facial reconstruction surgeons I work with once told me ‘I do the elective stuff to pay the bills, but I do the trauma patients to be an artist who helps heal people.’