37-year-old Richard Lee Norris was injured in a gun accident 15 years ago, leaving his face a mangled mess. He’s been living in hiding, covering his face to go to the grocery store, ever since. Seven months ago Richard underwent the most comprehensive face transplant in history, and the results are unbelievable.
After recovering, Richard now has a completely normal face, and can freely walk out in public without garnering stares. He can now smile, and is undergoing speech therapy to learn how to talk again.
“People used to stare at me because of my disfigurement. Now they can stare at me in amazement and in the transformation I have taken. I am now able to walk past people and no one even gives me a second look.”
The young man underwent a 36-hour operation earlier this year that replaced “both jaws, teeth, tongue, and skin and underlying nerve and muscle tissue from scalp to neck,” according to the press release from The University of Maryland Medical Center.
“For the past 15 years I lived as a recluse hiding behind a surgical mask and doing most of my shopping at night when less people were around. I can now go out and not get the stares and have to hear comments that people would make.”
It’s amazing how much face transplants have progressed over the years. The very fact that we are able to do it at all is amazing, but this surgery is breathtaking. Richard must be overwhelmed (in a good way) at the results.