The Remarkable Saga of a Young Woman's Face Transplant
The Remarkable Saga of a Young Woman's Face Transplant
Woman, 21, Gets Full Face Transplant After Shooting Face Off In Suicide Attempt — Pics
17 August, 2018, 19:38
Facebook/Katie Stubblefield Katie Stubblefield is the youngest person ever to have a full face transplant, after a failed suicide attempt left her without a face. Katie Stubblefield, 17, 8 months before attempting suicide.
It was in Memphis where Katie's parents, Robb and Alesia, heard the term "face transplant" for the first time. Her family donated her face after the mother-of-one tragically died of a drug overdose. She was 18 years old.
Later in 2016, she was declared stable, and a year later she received the surgery that redefined her bone structure, including her nose, nasal passage, and her jaw and regained her ability to chew, swallow, or breathe on her own. And she is speaking about her surgery to help warn of the lasting harms of suicide.
The procedure performed on Stubblefield included transplantation of the scalp, the forehead, upper and lower eyelids, eye sockets, nose, upper cheeks, upper jaw and half of lower jaw, upper teeth, lower teeth, partial facial nerves, facial muscles, and skin - effectively replacing 100 percent of her facial tissue, according to a press release issued by Cleveland Clinic. "What do you do?'"
The face transplant (pictured) took place in 2017 at the Cleveland Clinic, the same clinic that performed the United States' first face transplant on Connie Culp in 2008. "I get a second chance at life now", Stubblefield said before her surgery began.
A photograph of Stubblefield, taken after her injury and before the transplant, appears on the cover of National Geographic's September issue. "Her brain was basically exposed, and I mean, we're talking seizures and infections and all kinds of problems". "We thought it was just such a moving and inspiring story that is about everything from human journey to breakthrough medicine and science". "She can try to save other young lives".
The surgery was performed at the Cleveland Clinic by 11 surgeons in OH in May. "I felt frightful", Katie said in the interview. "Then when you receive a transplant, you're so thankful".
In early August, Stubblefield was finally discharged, but her work is far from over. She also has to continue with physical and occupational therapy for the time being.
Dr Brian Gastman, who was part of the surgical team, explained: 'Her whole story made our team come together much faster, and we sort of ran toward her to take care of her.
"Life is precious, and life is attractive", she said. "Now I want to help other people".
Currently, face transplants are seen as experimental treatments and are not covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance companies.
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