Man who had face electrocuted off at work gets world first eye and face transplant
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Back in 2021, a man lost half his face after being electrocuted.
Aaron James survived the high-voltage electrical accident and has now undergone a world-first transplant.
The man from Hot Springs, Arkansas, had accidentally touched a live wire with his face, suffering a deadly 7,200-volt electric shock.
James, 46, had extensive injuries from the accident, such as the loss of his left eye, his entire nose, lips, front teeth, left check area and chin down to the bone. He also lost his left arm from above the elbow.
With over 140 healthcare professionals involved, James also had a rare partial face transplant in May this year, lasting approximately 21 hours.
It is the only successful combined transplant case of its kind.
It’s not currently known if James will regain sight, but the surgeons said in a release yesterday (9 November) that the transplanted eye has ‘shown remarkable signs of health’.
“Aaron has been extremely motivated to regain the function and independence he lost after his injury. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect patient,” said Dr Eduardo Rodriguez, one of the leading surgeons on the case.
“The mere fact that we’ve accomplished the first successful whole-eye transplant with a face is a tremendous feat many have long thought was not possible.
“We’ve made one major step forward and have paved the way for the next chapter to restore vision.”
James lost a lot of independence after the accident, struggling with food and eventually having his eye removed due to severe pain.
“I’m grateful beyond words for the donor and his family, who have given me a second chance at life during their own time of great difficulty. I hope the family finds solace in knowing that part of the donor lives on with me.
“I will also forever be thankful to Dr Rodriguez and his team for changing my life. My family and I wouldn’t have been able to navigate this difficult journey without their expertise and support.”
He told NBC News: “I just look like a normal person walking down the street.”