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Richard Lee Norris has successfully made it out of what University of Maryland physicians are calling the most extensive face transplant ever.

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According to the Associated Press, Richard has been living as a recluse ever since a gun accident years ago, which resulted in him having a completely disfigured face.

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After the accident, Richard lost his teeth, nose and part of his tongue. For 15 years, he was unable to smell and had difficulty consuming anything.

Richard was selected, among 5 other individuals, to undergo the 36 hour operation. During the operation Richard got a transplantation of “teeth, upper and lower jaw, a portion of the tongue and all facial tissue from the scalp to the base of the neck.”

Lead surgeon Eduardo Rodriguez reflected on the surgery saying:

“He could not smell for the past 15 years, and that was the most dramatic thing — immediately, on day three, he could finally smell. This was the perfect patient to put into practice what we had discovered in the laboratory. This accidental injury just destroyed everything. The rest of his friends and colleagues went on to start getting married, having children, owning homes… He wants to make up for all of that.”

Doctors were not willing to share with reporters whose face Richard received, as part of a privacy protection.

We are happy that Richard’s surgery went well and our prayers are for a successful recovery.

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