Man Shows Off Full Face Transplant

Spaniard regains ability to speak, eat
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2010 2:47 PM CDT
Man Shows Off Full Face Transplant
In this undated combo photo released by Vall d'Hebron Hospital, Oscar, a man who underwent a full-face transplant in April appears before, left, and after, right, the surgery at the Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, Spain.   (AP Photo/Vall d'Hebron Hospital, HO)

The patient who had the world's first full face transplant showed himself to the world today, the AP reports. The 31-year-old, identified only as Oscar, thanked his doctors and the family of the face donor at a hospital in Barcelona. Though he underwent surgery in March, Oscar has only been able to talk for 2 months, and he spoke with considerable difficulty during the press conference.

He can currently breathe, drink liquids and eat soft foods, but doctors say Oscar will need 12 to 18 months of physical therapy before he gains full control over his new face. By then, he is expected to regain 90% of normal facial functions. The full details of Oscar's story are not known, but past reports have described him as a farmer who accidentally shot himself in the face.
(More face transplant stories.)

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