It’s a world’s first. Never before has a person received multiple face transplants. And yet just three months after the operation, doctors are calling it a huge success.
The operation was performed by Laurent Lantieri and his team at a hospital in France. This was no simple transplant: the entire procedure took place over two days. The added complexity caused by the preivous transplant that Hamon’s body was rejecting proved to make the transplant an incredibly difficult one.
A rare disease
Suffering from Type I Neurofibromatosis, also known as Von Recklinghausen’s Disease, Hamon saw his very first facial transplant take place in 2010. The initial operation was deemed a success, with Hamon gaining back mobility and the ability to articulate at a rapid pace. However, a common cold brought it all to a screeching halt.
The walking dead
An antibiotic that Hamon had taken was incompatible with the immosuppressants he had been taking to ensure his body doesn’t reject the transplant. Due to this pharmaceutical clash, his new face began to rot. Over the course of two years, his face became more and more necrotic, eventually landing him in the hospital in mid 2017.
A new hope
All hope was not lost for Hamon. Recently, he was able to find an acceptable donor – a 22 year old man. Since the surgery, Hamon has a new lease on life and is incredibly positive about his future: ‘I am 43 years old. The donor was 22. So I became 20 years younger’, he jokes. Here’s to hoping this transplant sees no complications.