He Lost His Face And She Lost Her Brother, But They Both Got Them Back...In A Way

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When 21-year-old Joshua Aversano was killed in an auto accident in 2012, his sister Rebekah never expected to see his face again. However, thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, she got to do just that. Joshua's remains were donated to science, and, a few years later, Rebekah and her family got to see Joshua's face again -- on another man.

He Lost His Face And She Lost Her Brother, But They Both Got Them Back...In A Way

In 1997, Richard Norris' face was irreparably damaged after a shotgun accident. He was unable to speak or brush his teeth, and was left with severe disfigurement. But after 15 years and a 36-hour surgery that involved 150 medical staff members, Richard's face has been reconstructed using Joshua's remains.

Yes, that means exactly what you think it does: Joshua Aversano's face is now on the body of another person.

Richard Norris, seen here prior to his accident, with his disfigurement, and shortly after the procedure.

The bones of the lower half of his face had to be reconstructed, and soft tissue was reattached.

The procedure was extreme. Norris received one of the most complex facial transplants ever performed, and his donated material included a jaw, teeth, and a tongue. Even more rare was finding a matching donor, and the operation only had a 50% success rate. But to Norris, it was worth it. There were some complications, but overall, the transplant was a success. Norris will have to take anti-rejection medication for the rest of his life.

Not only does this give Norris a new lease on life, but it also opened new doors to doctors. Medical practitioners now know even more about the possibilities of facial reconstruction, and see it as an option to treat other people with severe facial injuries.

Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, who headed the operation, describes the reconstruction. The blue area you see on the skull model is all donor material.

Once the bones were in place, the soft tissue was "draped" on top. The team worked to make it as natural-looking as possible.

A medical team of some 150 people worked for 36 hours on this procedure. Thanks to this amazing procedure, Richard Norris is able to speak once again, and now has a new lease on life. The first thing he wanted to do was meet the Joshua's family and thank them. According to him, Joshua and the Aversanos' donation saved his life. He's not exaggerating; the physical challenges of his disfigurement plunged him into depression, and he experienced suicidal thoughts.

Rebekah Aversano touches her brother's face, now on Richard Norris, for the first time. When Rebekah and Richard met, it was quite an emotional experience. Aversano saw her brother's face for the first time since his death. "This is the face I grew up with," she said and, with Norris's permission, reached out to touch her brother's cheek once again.

For the Aversanos, the chance to give someone a new start is a blessing in the wake of a devastating loss. "We are just so pleased we have been able to help him. Even though we had such a tragic loss, we were able to give someone else the benefit of our son," says Gwen, Rebekah and Joshua's mother.

For Norris, the difference is astounding. "I am now able to walk past people and no one even gives me a second look," he says.

Fuente: www.viralnova.com
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