Full Face Transplant Patient Debuts New Face

Dallas Wiens appears sporting goatee, sunglasses
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2011 9:38 PM CDT
Full Face Transplant Patient Dallas Wiens Debuts New Face
Facial transplant patient Dallas Wiens, right, with his daughter Scarlette at the hospital in Boston. WARNING: Some of the following images are extremely graphic.   (AP Photo/Brigham and Women's Hospital, Lightchaser Photograhy)

It's tough to image a sweeter reaction: When Dallas Wiens showed his four-year-old daughter his new face, she told him, "Daddy, you're so handsome." The nation's first full face transplant debuted that handsome new face to the world today, appearing at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston in his first public appearance since the 15-hour procedure in March. Sporting a goatee and dark sunglasses, the 25-year-old said, "It feels natural. As time went on ... I was able to smell again and breathe through my nose. Every step of the way was amazing."

The first thing Wiens' nose was able to detect after months of having no smell? Hospital lasagna. "You wouldn't imagine it, but it smelled delicious," Wiens said. He received a new nose, lips, skin, muscle, and nerves from an anonymous donor after his features were all but burned away and he was left blind after hitting a power line while painting a church in November 2008. Surgeons said the transplant was not able to restore his sight, and some nerves were so badly damaged that he will probably have only partial sensation on his left cheek and the left side of his forehead. The operation was paid for by the US military, which hopes to use findings from the procedure to help soldiers with severe facial wounds. NOTE: Some of the photos in the slideshow are very graphic. (More Dallas Wiens stories.)

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