Face Transplant Patient Stories
At NYU Langone’s Face Transplant Program, we provide patients with superior care from face transplant specialists who have performed the most complex and comprehensive face transplant to date. Our patients share stories about their care.
Cameron’s Face Transplant Story
“The journey hasn’t been easy, but it’s been well worth it.”
–Cameron, Age 26
A California resident, Cameron enjoyed outdoor sports such as fishing and snowboarding, and worked as a welder and machinist. In 2016, he lost the majority of his lower jaw and his nose from a ballistic injury. He also had damage to his upper face, and the injury severely impacted his ability to lead a normal life.
When Cameron and his mother read about Dr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez and his patients’ successful face transplants, they were confident that he could help Cameron. Eighteen months after his initial injury, Cameron flew to New York City to have the surgery with Dr. Rodriguez.
Cameron’s procedure took only 25 hours—11 hours less than the previous face transplant performed at NYU Langone. Eleven weeks later—several weeks ahead of his anticipated recovery schedule—Cameron returned home to California, just in time to celebrate the 2018 Easter holiday with his family.
“[The donor] and his family made an incredible sacrifice to give back to me what had been lost,” Cameron says. “I will not forget that. I’m also eternally grateful to Dr. Rodriguez and his face transplant team. My family and I could not have made this journey without them.”
Patrick’s Face Transplant Story
“Now that I can blink again, I sleep better than I have in years—usually six or seven hours. It’s just like it was before the accident.”
–Patrick, Age 42
At the age of 27, Patrick was a tire salesman, father of three, and a volunteer firefighter.
In 2001, while working to put out a fire, he was seriously injured when a burning roof collapsed on his head. The accident severely damaged his eyelids, lips, ears, and nose, and left him with scar tissue from his scalp to his chest. Patrick had 71 reconstructive surgeries, but was still unable to close his eyes or eat without pain.
Patrick was referred to Dr. Rodriguez and his team of more than 100 medical and support staff who provided Patrick with the most extensive face transplant performed to date.
“The surgery has truly given me back my life,” Patrick says. “I go about my day just like everyone else. It has allowed me to do things with my family that I had not been able to do. I can’t tell you what a sense of freedom it is to even drive my kids to school. We went on a family vacation to Disney World, and I swam in the pool with them—something I hadn’t done in 15 years.”