At the age of 27, Patrick was a tire salesman, father of 3, 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 Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, DDS, and his team of more than 100 medical and support staff at NYU Langone’s Face Transplant Program, 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.”
“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