Friday, 21 September, 2018

United States woman who shot herself receives face transplant

Woman, 21, Gets Full Face Transplant After Shooting Face Off In Suicide Attempt — Pics Katie Stubblefield: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Becky Salazar | 17 August, 2018, 19:38

She could feel where her face was swollen.

Katie Stubblefield is the youngest person to ever receive a face transplant!

The transplant, which was performed by 11 surgeons, aimed to restore Stubblefield's face and functions such as chewing, breathing and swallowing.

The idea of putting the young woman through this surgery came after her parents talked to a surgeon in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was flown for treatment after the suicide attempt.

Stubblefield lost all facial functions after a suicide attempt.

She was taken to hospital and endured two years worth of operations, undergoing several procedures to fix her bone structure, including her nose, nasal passage and her jaw before receiving her new face from donor Adrea Schneider, 31, who died after a drug overdose. And now Katie has a mission in her life.

Distressed, Ms Stubblefield, aged 18 at the time, went to her brother's home and took his hunting rifle and shot herself. Her parents had to tell her what happened, and it shocked her.

But 22 operations later, including her full-face transplant, Katie has made a decision to tell her tale to help others battling suicidal thoughts.

"I was standing there thinking, 'What do you mean, a face transfer?"

She underwent the transplant in Cleveland, Ohio, which involved using a 3D printed jaw.

The surgery 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 the patient's facial tissue, the Cleveland Clinic said.

Similar to Katie, the first recipient of a face transplant in the United States was a woman who survived a gunshot wound to the head.

That was a near-total face transplant. Stubblefield is the 40th known person in the world known to receive a new face, according to National Geographic.

"We would do that for anybody, but many of us are parents ourselves and we saw what her own parents were going through". "We thought it was just such a moving and inspiring story that is about everything from human journey to breakthrough medicine and science". She rarely went out in public except to see doctors. We're so happy to report that the transplant was successful - what a miracle!

In March 2016, Katie was placed on the waiting list for a face transplant.

The donor of Katie's new face was 31-year-old Andrea Schneider. Before the procedure, Katie underwent extensive psychological evaluation as a face transplant candidate and suicide survivor.

Then on May 4, 2017, the most important of the procedures she had to endure began when surgeons removed the face from a donor. The surgery was completed the next day. "I am able to touch my face now, and it feels unbelievable", Katie said in the video. She also added that Schneider's son was not yet aware that his mother's face was being used, too, though he presumably will be soon.

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Five weeks after the incident, Stubblefield was brought to Cleveland Clinic.

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