|Richard Norris, before and after|
In a 36-hour operation at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Norris received the “most extensive face transplant ever carried out”, including not only a continuous facial tissue from scalp to clavicle, but also a tongue, both upper and lower jaws, and all their perfectly matched teeth. Faculty surgeon Eduardo Rodriguez, M.D., D.D.S.,
|Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez with transplant team at UMMC|
Like the only other full-face transplant in the US, performed by Dr. Bohdan Pomahac and his team at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Norris’ FFT was paid for by grant funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in the United States Department of Defense. The ONR funds medical research to support military operational medicine and clinical care of returning veterans. In addition to conducting research, the University of Maryland Medical Center trains military medical staff prior to deployment and performs organ transplant surgeries for patients at Walter Reed/Bethesda National Naval Medical Center. At this moment the Department of Defense estimates that as many as 200 wounded soldiers are eligible for an operation like Norris’.
Two hundred. Ready right now. Since 2005, when the first partial face transplant stunned the world, this once unimaginable miracle has already been repeated twenty-three times.
Only twenty three.