Doctors in the US state of New York have performed the world’s first successful facial and hand transplant.
Joe Demio, 22, underwent a 23-hour operation by a team of more than 140 healthcare workers last August.
In a car accident in 2018, Demio sustained third-degree burns on more than 80 percent of his body. His fingertips were amputated, and he lost his lips and eyelids after the accident.
Demio said the operation gave him a “second chance in life”.
what happened For demio؟
Demio was on his way home after a night shift at work when he fell asleep while driving.
His car crashed and caught fire.
The young man spent four months in the hospital’s burn unit, and for some of that time, he was in a coma, which doctors brought him into. Then Demio had more than 20 reconstructive surgeries, but he could only use his hands and face in a limited way.
In 2019, Demio was referred to New York University’s Langone Medical Center, where he underwent a transplant last August.
How was the transplant done?
“We wanted to do an operation for him to make him not only look better in shape, but in the end, he could work in an ideal way, using his own hands,” said Eduardo Rodriguez, director of the face transplant program.
He spent 45 days in the intensive care unit after surgery, then spent another two months in the hospital, as he had to learn how to open his eyelids and use his new hands.
There were two previous operations to transplant face and hands, but none of them were successful. The hospital said that one patient died of complications, and the other’s new hands were removed because they did not grow normally with the body.
Doctors waited in the hospital to make sure that the transplants were not rejected, before declaring their success.
Demios hopes for the future
Rodriguez says Demio, who now performs rehab exercises for up to five hours a day, is “the most stimulating patient he’s ever met.”
He added, “He wants to work in sports, loves to play golf, and he wants to return to the track. I like the weight he can lift and the strength of his grip.”
Demio says he can now exercise himself and make breakfast.
He added, “This is a gift that will not be repeated in a lifetime, and I hope the donor’s family will feel some comfort because a part of it lives with me. My parents and I are very grateful that they gave me this second opportunity.”