Former Mississippi firefighter Patrick Hardison sustained debilitating burns while battling a blaze back in 2001. Fourteen years after the fire that left him severely disfigured with no ears, no eyelids and a vague appearance of a nose and mouth, Hardison is now the recipient of the world’s most extensive face transplant.
The surgery, which took over a year to prepare took 26 hours in the operating room was done by Dr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez and a team of 150 people at the New York University Langone Medical Center. Dr. Rodriguez had priorly replaced the face, jaws, teeth and tongue of a man whose face had been shot off back in 2012.
The donor for Patrick Hardison’s new face was that of a recently deceased 26-year-old bike mechanic named David Rodebaugh. The Brooklyn, New York, bike mechanic had died after being thrown from his bike and landing on his head, helmet-less.
“This was a well-synchronized procedure, one we’d rehearsed so many times,” Rodriguez said.
The success of the August face transplant was made at a press conference Monday.