68-year-old man is the first black patient to receive a face transplant


Category:  Health, Science & Technology

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  10 months ago  •  10 comments

By:   By Erika Edwards

68-year-old man is the first black patient to receive a face transplant
"It is vitally important for individuals of all races and ethnicities to consider organ donation."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

In a medical first, doctors have performed a full   face transplant   on a black patient, a man from Los Angeles.

Robert Chelsea, 68, is also the oldest patient to undergo the surgery, which was performed at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"May God bless the donor and his family who chose to donate this precious gift and give me a second chance," Chelsea   said in a statement . "I am overwhelmed with gratitude and feel very blessed to receive such an amazing gift."

191024-robert-chelsea-en-route-to-or-ew- Chelsea, seen here before his face transplant, was disfigured in a fiery car accident in 2013. J. Kiely Jr. / Lightchaser photography

Chelsea was disfigured in 2013 when a drunk driver slammed into his car, sparking a fire. He suffered burns over most of his body and his face.

He was put on the face transplant waiting list at Brigham and Women's Hospital in 2018. He and his doctors waited until they found a donor with a skin tone that matched Chelsea's.

"It is vitally important for individuals of all races and ethnicities to consider   organ donation , including the donation of external grafts, such as face and hands," Alexandra Glazier, president of the New England Donor Services, said in a statement.

"Unlike internal organs, the skin tone of the donor may be important to finding a match."

It took 16 hours for a team of more than 45 physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists and others to perform the groundbreaking surgery.

"Robert is progressing and recovering remarkably fast," Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, head of plastic surgery transplantation at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said.

This is the ninth face transplant performed at the hospital.


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Perrie Halpern R.A.
1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    10 months ago

It's an amazing feat of medical science, but it must be weird to wake up with someone else's face on yours. The cognitive dissidence must be overwhelming at first.

So my question is could you live with someone else's face on yours?

1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    10 months ago

Given the alternative, I could.  It sure would take some getting used to.

Paula Bartholomew
1.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    10 months ago

I definitely could.  Hell, it might even be an improvement.

1.3  r.t..b...  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    10 months ago
It's an amazing feat of medical science

Our medical/insurance system has many flaws and that is certainly cause for reasonable and serious debate (not here, please), but the work they do in saving lives and changing lives, as this seed illustrates, is beyond compare. Best wishes going forward for Mr. Chelsea. And if not already, please do the simple task of becoming an organ donor.

Paula Bartholomew
1.3.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  r.t..b... @1.3    10 months ago

I've been one ever since it became part of my DL.

1.3.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @1.3.1    10 months ago

Same, and my family knows my wishes, too.  Once I'm gone, any organ of mine that's worth having should go to somebody who can use it.

Paula Bartholomew
1.3.3  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.3.2    10 months ago

My insides are not in that great of shape, but I would hope they could use my skin as donor skin.

Release The Kraken
2  Release The Kraken    10 months ago

I'm not sure this is true. Michael Jackson had a white man's face transplanted. Many of his white fans begged to have his discarded face but he wouldn't sell it.

3  sandy-2021492    10 months ago

I was aware of the need for organ donors of various ethnicities to find a match for bone marrow and so forth.  I'd never considered the same for face transplants, probably because the procedure is so new.

4  Freefaller    10 months ago

Wish him the best of luck, but this is still a relatively new procedure and rejection is a possibility


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