Eleven months after she underwent a face transplant in New York, Cameron Underwood is smiling again.
Calvin, a 26-year-old male from Yuba, lost most of his lower jaw, nose and tooth after being wounded in June 2016 with a gun to his face.
After several unsuccessful attempts at traditional facial reconstruction, Underwood and his family were professors of plastic surgery surgeons, and the famous plastic surgeon, who headed the plastic surgery department at NYU Langone Health. Eduardo Rodriguez.
Soon after, dr. He met with Underwood and determined that he was a good candidate for a face transplant.
"When we first met Cameron, we were sure we could improve his appearance and, more importantly, his function and quality of life," Rodriguez said in a press release Thursday.
Underwood had to wait six months after she was put on organ donor list in July 2017 just before she had the perfect match for her. William Fisher, a 23-year-old writer and filmmaker from New York, was registered as organ donor before his death and elected as a harmonious donor for Underwood.
After receiving permission from Fisher & # 39; s family, and receiving appropriate approvals, Dr. Rodriguez prepares a surgical team during the third face of her career at NYU Langone Health, and the second is the most common facial transplant on record. According to the health center.
The plastic surgeon said Underwood was optimistic about his chances for success for a short period of time, just 18 months from the time of surgery.
”Cameron has not lived with his injury for ten years or more, as other facial transplant recipients did,” said Cameron. ”As a result, he did not have to deal with many of the long-term psychosocial problems that have caused problems such as severe depression, substance abuse and other potentially harmful behaviors.“
In January, a team of more than 100 medical professionals in NYU Langone Health reestablished and rebuilt Underwood's upper and lower jaws, mouth and 32 teeth and gums. Her nose, lower eyelids and cheeks were also changed during the 25-hour surgery.
The surgical team used the latest technology, including 3D imaging and intraoperative CAT scans, to ensure that the face bones were perfectly aligned, and the plates and screws used to place the Donor's face on the Underwood were in the right position.
Following successful surgery, Underwood spent several weeks in hospital before being discharged in February. She returned to California and has since been traveling to New York for monthly follow-up appointments.
On Thursday, Underwood appeared on stage before an audience, including the family of transporters, to show the results of the surgery a year ago. Dr. Rodriguez had the opportunity to thank the medical team and the donor's family.
Istiy I want Sally & # 39; [Fisher’s mother] I would like her to know how much she knows about her family and family and how much they appreciate their family and I will always honor Will's legacy. Ilem
Although he was saddened by the death of his son, Sally grateful that his decision to become a donor could give Underwood a second chance.
Güç Being part of this experience has been a source of power for me at a very difficult time. I don't think I can get rid of Will's death if it weren't for Cameron. Cam ”Cameron spent his entire life before him – and I love the idea that Willie helps make a better life.“
Underwood's impressive results. Rodriguez said his illness still had a lot of work to do in the process of healing, swallowing, and speaking. She will also have to continue taking anti-rejection drugs for the rest of her life so that her body will not reject her new face.
Though his recovery path was unfinished, Underwood said he would be positive and looking forward to the future. Also, Rodriguez took a moment to praise for his efforts.
After the press conference, the local news station joked to WCBS. “I can use my old identity,“ he said.
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