A New Face

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Monday, May 9, 2011 - 2:53pm

Texas man shows off results of nation's first full face transplant.

You probably wouldn't look twice if you saw Dallas Wiens walking down the street, and that is one of the most amazing things about his transformation.

Two and a half years ago Wiens was disfigured at work when his head touched a high-voltage power line.

Last month he became the country's first recipient of a full face transplant.

He endured more than 15 hours of surgery while doctors replaced his nose, lips, and facial muscles and nerves with those from from an anonymous donor.

"When I woke up, I was able to feel where I had features again: eyes and a nose and a mouth. I even said out loud, 'This is not even medically possible,'" he told reporters Monday.

His speech is difficult to understand, but his doctors at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston predict Wiens will regain the muscles needed to speak clearly.

Wiens's sense of smell has returned and he can breathe through his new nose.

His daughter Scarlette has been a source of strength for Wiens since his accident and his transplant.

"She was amazed. She actually said, 'Daddy, you're so handsome,'" Wiens recalled.

Doctors say it's unlikely Wiens will ever regain his eyesight, but he hopes advances in medicine might someday change that.

"I am only 26 years old, so there's a lot of life left to live," he points out.

The full-time dad says his primary goal now is simply to take care of his daughter.

Wiens is also considering going back to college when he gets back home to Texas.
 

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