CNN (May 6, 2009)
"In 2004, a bullet ripped away Connie Culp's nose, cheeks and upper jaw. Metal fragments sprayed into her skull and stripped her face away, leaving nothing except for her eyes, her chin and forehead.
"Without her nose, she could not smell. She breathed through a tracheostomy -- a surgical opening in her neck. Without lips, she could barely speak.
"But Tuesday, when Culp, 46, the first recipient of a face transplant in the United States, stepped in front of the cameras at a news conference, she was whole...."
"...Before the surgery, Culp could not eat solid foods. She could not taste.
" 'Connie can now enjoy her food,' said Dr. Maria Siemionow, who led the transplant operation. 'She eats hamburgers and enjoys her pizzas, she's drinking coffee from the cup.'
"Her new face allows her to 'blend with society.'..."
Under the circumstances, this is wonderful news. Connie Culp's able to chew and talk again - and breathe normally.
I was pleased to see that at least one news article brought up the ethics of face transplantation (bottom line - it's okay in cases like this). I did a little checking of my own, to see what the Catholic angle on organ transplants is - more at "Face Transplant: We Can Do it, But is it Right?" (A Catholic Citizen in America (May 6, 2009)).
I'm very happy for Connie Culp - and others who have had the front of their heads restored to (close to) normal function.
This is a remarkable time in which to be living.
- "First US Facial Transplant Patient Thanks Donor Family and Doctors"
Associated Content (May 6, 2009)
- "Face transplant recipient fronts media"
Brisbane Times (May 6, 2009)