Horrifically injured gun accident victim shows off results of the most extensive face transplant eve

These are the incredible before-and-after pictures of 37-year-old Richard Lee Norris who was given the most extensive face transplant ever performed.

Mr Norris, who was injured in a 1997 gun accident, was pictured seven months after being given a new face, teeth, tongue and jaw in a 36-hour surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

For 15 years, Mr Norris lived as a recluse in Hillsville, Virginia, hiding behind a mask and only coming out at night time. He can now feel his face and is able to brush his teeth and shave.

He's also regained his sense of smell, which he had lost after the accident.

Scroll down to see the transplant taking place

Incredible: Richard Lee Norris, 37, who had the most extensive face transplant to date, is seen before and in a photo made 114 days after the transplant was performed in March

When he shot himself in the face in 1997, Mr Norris lost his nose, lips and most movement in his mouth. He has had multiple life-saving, reconstructive surgeries which also replaced underlying nerve and muscle tissue from scalp to neck. Motor function is now 80 per cent on the right side of the face and 40 per cent on the left.

'I am now able to walk past people and no one even gives me a second look. My friends have moved on with their lives, starting families and careers. I can now start working on the new life given back to me,' he said in a release to NBC.

He received the new face from an anonymous donor in March whose organs saved five other patients' lives on the same day.

The transplant was led by Dr Eduardo D. Rodriguez, professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of plastic, reconstructive and maxillofacial surgery at Shock Trauma.

Dramatic: Mr Norris suffered gun injuries in 1997 and has underwent years of surgeries before his final life-changing face transplant in March (right)

'Before, people used to stare at Richard because he wore a mask and they wanted to see the deformity,' Rodriguez said in March. 'Now, they have another reason to stare at him, and it's really amazing.'

Mr Norris opened his eyes on the third day after the surgery with his family around him. 'He put the mirror down and thanked me and hugged me,' said Dr Rodriguez. 'We concealed all the lines so it would give him the most immediate best appearance with minimal touch-ups down the road.'

To ensure Mr Norris would retain maximum function of his facial expressions and movements, doctors gave him a new tongue for proper speech, eating, and chewing, normally aligned teeth, and connected his nerves to allow for smiling.

Norris's transplant comes on the heels of successful face transplants in Forth Worth, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts, last year. He is the first full face transplant recipient in the United States to retain his eyesight.
A virtual army of 100 doctors, scientists and other university medical staff ranging from plastic surgeons to craniofacial specialists teamed up for the operation.
The surgery involved ten years of research funded by the Department of Defense's Office of Naval Research, and will serve as a model for helping war veterans injured by improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan, the university said.

Transformation : Scans show the original injuries to Norris's face (left), with the damaged areas removed and after the transplant (right)

'Surreal experience': Lead surgeon Eduardo Rodriguez explains how the procedure successfully replaced the 37-year-old's face, teeth, tongue and jaw

'Amazing': The operation by Dr Rodriguez and his team took 36 hours and is believed to be the most extensive procedure of its kind ever performed

Rodriguez saluted the work of the teams around the world that had conducted the 22 face transplants to date, without which, he said, this operation would not have been possible.

The first full face transplant was performed in France in 2005 on a woman who was mauled by her dog. The Cleveland Clinic performed the first face transplant in the U.S. in 2008.

The Department of Defense has been funding some face and hand surgeries with the goal of helping wounded soldiers. More than 1,000 troops have lost an arm or leg in Afghanistan or Iraq, and the government estimates that 200 troops might be eligible for face transplants.

The University of Maryland's research on transplants was funded by a grant from the Office of Naval Research, and doctors said they hope to begin operating soon on military patients. Officials provided little detail on Norris or the circumstances of the accident.

'This accidental injury just destroyed everything. The rest of his friends and colleagues went on to start getting married, having children, owning homes,' Dr Rodriguez said.

'He wants to make up for all of that.'


Did they have to give him such a pronounced overbite?


Lying causes cat piss smell.
I wouldn't say it's all that anonymous, they are showing his face after all.

If I can remember the dudes name, I'll post a picture of an inmate I once knew that blew his face off with a shotgun, but still lived.
Well there was one of the guys that tried to commit suicide because of Judas Priest lyrics...

James Vance

From Wiki:

Subliminal message trial

In the summer of 1990, the band was involved in a civil action that alleged they were responsible for the self-inflicted gunshot wounds in 1985 of 20-year-old James Vance and 18-year-old Raymond Belknap in Sparks, Nevada, USA.[14] On 23 December 1985, Vance and Belknap, after hours of drinking beer, smoking marijuana and allegedly listening to Judas Priest, went to a playground at a church in Sparks with a 12-gauge shotgun to end their lives.

Belknap was the first to place the shotgun under his chin. He died instantly after pulling the trigger. Vance then shot himself but survived, suffering severe facial injuries. Following numerous complications, Vance too passed away three years after the shooting. [5]

The men's parents and their legal team alleged that a subliminal message of "do it" had been included in the Judas Priest song "Better By You, Better Than Me" from the Stained Class album (actually a cover of a Spooky Tooth number). They alleged the command in the song triggered the suicide attempt.[14] The trial lasted from 16 July to 24 August 1990, when the suit was dismissed.[14] One of the defense witnesses, Dr. Timothy E. Moore, wrote an article for Skeptical Inquirer chronicling the trial.[14]

The trial was covered in the 1991 documentary Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance Vs. Judas Priest.


LDAR, bitch.
Wait, was it an accident or did he shoot himself deliberately?


Wait, was it an accident or did he shoot himself deliberately?

Sounds like it was intentional. They should have let him bleed out before transporting.

Why waste money on someone who doesn't want to live?

It's illogical.
Good god, can you imagine having a cock for a nose, Popeye's chin, and Shannon Doherty's eyes.... They should have given him another shot at death.


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Didn't he serve with Cotton HIll?