Woman,21,who survived suicide receives face transplant in historic 31-hour operation

21 year old Katie Stubblefield became the youngest person in the US to receive a face transplant.

This is due to her botched suicide attempt from 3 years before,March 25 2014.

Katie neither remembers the day she tried to take her life in the bathroom of her brother’s home,nor much from the months after.

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Transferred to the local hospital, then to Cleveland,Ohio,they were desperate to save her life.

Later,by start of 2016,Stubblefield was declared stable.

On May 4, 2017 she made history, undergoing 31 hours of surgery at the Cleveland Clinic;

Receiving a face transplant that would restore her face structure, and allow her to chew, swallow and breathe independently for the first time in years.

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In a National Geographic documentary ‘The Story of a Face‘ that reveals her struggle,she said;

‘I get a second chance at life now.’

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Furthermore,in the world,Stubblefield is the 40th person to receive a face transplant;

The 3rd at Cleveland Clinic-the pioneer of facial reconstruction in the US.

Nonetheless,this was different than others,in that,she’s the youngest ever and it was the longest face transplant ‘ever’ performed.

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‘Thank you for reaching out ‘ woman who published suicide note saved

Katie Stubblefield’s relatives told National Geographic,she was a fun girl with a great sense of humour and wit.

Also,she was close with her siblings.Older brother and sister;Robert and Olivia.

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The day of the botched suicide,earlier in the day she saw texts on her boyfriend’s phone from another girl, and when confronted, he ended their relationship.

She went to her brother’s home distressed,headed to the bathroom;

And shot herself under the chin using his hunting rifle, a .308-caliber.

Robert told National Geographic he rushed upstairs, found Katie on the floor, and ‘her face was gone’.

Surgeons raced to patch up her external and internal wounds and eventually mentioned face transplant to Katie’s family.

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The following two years,Stubblefield was being ferried in and out of hospital for a whirlwind of surgeries.

Finally start of May 2017 a donor emerged.

May 4th she was in for the operation-involving 11 surgeons and virtual reality techniques,according to Daily Mail.

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For the operation, the surgeons had to replace;

Her scalp, nose, upper cheeks, upper jaw, half of her lower jaw, forehead, eyelids, eye sockets, muscles, skin and most of her facial nerves.

Discharged on August 1, 2017,she is now on a cocktail of immunosuppressant drugs as she continues therapy to re-learn how to walk, move, speak, and read Braille.

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Katie hopes to go back to school online, heading towards qualifying as a counselor.

Ultimately,she would like to work with other suicide survivors.

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‘I’d rather be dead than live like I was,’ says face transplant survivor who didn’t fear dying on the operating table (Photos)

The man who received the most extensive face transplant in history after suffering from burns working as a volunteer firefighter has spoken out about his recovery.

Patrick Hardison, 43, said that he ‘bet it all’ when he decided to undergo the potentially-fatal operation – but that he won that bet.

Hardison’s chances of surviving were 50/50, and a previous patient who had undergone the procedure in France had died.Patrick Hardison

But, even though he knew this, Hardison said that he never thought about backing out of the operation because ‘death is not the worst thing that can happen’.

The incident that caused Hardison’s disfigurement drastically changed his life because people’s perceptions of him were altered. People were cruel to him in public, pointing and staring when they saw his face.Patrick Hardison

But he said the idea of a face transplant gave him hope, explaining: ‘I had been miserable for 14 years by this time.’Patrick Hardison

Hardison’s facial burns happened in September 2001 when he was putting out a house fire in his hometown of Senatobia, Mississippi, and a burning ceiling fell on him.

His helmet and breathing apparatus melted, and his eyelids and ears were burned off. Hardison had to spend 63 days in a burn unit after the incident and doctors took skin from his thighs to replace the flesh that had melted off his face.

Patrick Hardison He had to have more than 70 surgeries to treat his burn during the next ten years. Hardison said his injury caused people, including his own children, to be afraid of the sight of him.

In 2011 his doctor told him he was at risk for losing his vision because his eyelids were missing, and he then started considering a face transplant. Hardison said that after learning of the surgery he never once got cold feet about having it done.Patrick Hardison

He said to the Detroit Free Press: ‘I never wanted to back out. Death is not the worst thing that can happen. I told the doctor that I’d rather be dead than live like I was.’

‘The only surgery close to mine was attempted in France and the patient died. I knew all that before I went in, but I was willing. All or nothing, that’s what I wanted to do. I bet it all,’ Hardison explained.

The medical team that performed Hardison’s operation in August 2015 at New York University Langone Medical Center was more than 100 strong, and his surgery took 26 hours.

Patrick Hardison He received the face of David Rodebaugh, a 26-year-old bike mechanic who died following a cycling accident.

Hardison expressed gratitude for organ donors such as Rodebaugh who allow sick people and survivors to have a new lease on life at an organ donation conference on Sunday.

He also spoke about how his life has changed since he received the operation, explaining that that the cruel stares and comments have stopped.

‘I can go places with my kids now. I went to Disney World last year, and it’s the first time my two little boys had been anywhere where people didn’t say: “What happened?” and all that stuff,’ Hardison said.

Patrick Hardison

Patrick Hardison

Patrick Hardison

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