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Katie Stubblefield lost her face when she was 18. But then, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio gave her a new one when she was 21, making Stubblefield the youngest person to have a face transplant in U.S. history.
National Geographic documented the journey in photographs.
She’s the youngest face transplant recipient in US history and now hopes to use her historic surgery to raise awareness about the lasting harms of suicide and the value of life. https://t.co/TbA9txdx3h pic.twitter.com/yN5LU9N9l6
— CNN (@CNN) August 14, 2018
The improbable medical saga began on March 25, 2014, when Stubblefield was distraught enough to attempt suicide. She shot herself with a rifle, taking most of her face off in the process.
She had 22 surgeries to reconstruct her face before the transplant.
“The face lies on a surgical tray, eyes empty and unseeing, mouth agape, as if exclaiming, ‘Oh!'” Our unprecedented @NatGeo story of a face transplant — a medical miracle that gave a young woman a second chance at life. https://t.co/gz9UJXmTju pic.twitter.com/vQP5IeAyjf
— Susan Goldberg (@susanbgoldberg) August 14, 2018
Then on May 4, 2017, the most important of the procedures she had to endure began when surgeons removed the face from a donor. The operation lasted 31-hours but the net result was a 100 percent replacement of Stubblefield’s face.Read the full story at National Geographic