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Woman who got world’s first face transplant suffered devastating consequences afterwards

Woman who got world’s first face transplant suffered devastating consequences afterwards

While it was initially deemed successful, Isabelle Dinoire suffered greatly after the surgery

A woman lucky enough to receive the world's first face transplant tragically suffered devastating consequences following her ground-breaking surgery.

Isabelle Dinoire, from France, suffered horrific injuries when her beloved pet Labrador mauled most of her lower face off in 2005.

The incident occurred after Isabelle had taken an overdose of pills in an attempt to end her life.

The dog had apparently found her unconscious and in a desperate attempt to rouse her, gnawed away at her face.

Isabelle Dinoire got the world's first face transplant in 2009.
DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images

When the mum-of-two woke up, she 'couldn't believe' what she saw in the mirror. She had lost her lips, chin and the majority of her nose.

"I couldn't even begin to imagine it was my face or my blood - or that the dog had chewed my face," she told the BBC in 2012.

Isabelle was rushed to hospital, but doctors told her that her injuries were too severe and complex to be treated with standard facial reconstruction techniques.

A full face transplant was her only option, but the procedure had never been performed before due to difficulties connecting the nose and mouth.

Despite the odds, the surgery went well.

"From the first time I saw myself in the mirror after the operation I knew it was a victory. It didn't look that good because of all the bandages, but I had a nose, I had a mouth — it was fantastic," Isabelle said in the BBC interview.

"I could see in the eyes of the nurses that it was a success."

However, her misery was far from over.

While her surgery was initially deemed successful, Isabelle suffered devastating consequences afterwards.
Franck CRUSIAUX/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Immediately following the ground-breaking surgery, she started getting hounded by the media and harassed by people she came across in the street.

She continued: "It was excruciating. I live in a small town and so everyone knew my story. It wasn't easy at the beginning.

"Children would laugh at me and everyone would say, 'Look it's her, it's her.'"

She said it made her feel like 'a circus animal.'

On top of this, Isabelle's body started rejecting her new face, causing her to lose 'part of the use of her lips' in 2015.

She also had to take immunosuppressants every day to stop her face from disintegrating – which ultimately weakened her immune system.

She died from cancer in 2016 at the age of 49.

Despite the challenges she faced, Isabelle's surgery was a pioneering moment for face transplants and led the path for other patients.

In 2020, Joe DiMeo, received the world's first face and double hand transplant after surviving a horrific car crash that saw him sustain third-degree burns to 80 percent of his body.

Following the world's first successful attempt at the surgery, Joe is able to live his life again. He documents his transplant journey with his 137,000 followers on TikTok.

Featured Image Credit: DENIS CHARLET/AFP/Franck CRUSIAUX/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Topics: Health