The tot told her daddy, ‘you’re so handsome,’ the first time she laid eyes on his new face. Such a wonderful story!
Dallas Wiens, 26, the first man to receive a face transplant in the U.S., has been reunited with his young daughter Scarlett for the first time since a team of 30 medical experts spent 15 hours replacing his nose, lips, skin and nerves using an anonymous donor.
“I could have lived like I was, no problem, if I did not have my daughter,” says Dallas, who has been left blind by the accident. ”But I could not bear the thought of her growing up and being asked questions, ‘Why does your daddy look different?’ And dealing with that all of her childhood.”
Most of Dallas’ face burned off after his head hit a power line in 2008 while he was on a cherry picker painting a church near his home in Fort Worth, Tex.
And now, after 22 surgeries and years of waiting to feel normal again, Dallas admits that the best part is being reunited with Scarlett, who told him, ‘Daddy, you’re so handsome,’ the first time she laid eyes on his new face.
“To me the face feels natural,” Dallas explains. “It feels as if it has become my own.”
Before the surgery, Dallas could not smell and had a very difficult time breathing, but after the extensive operation, his sense came back! And although doctors could not restore his eye sight, Dallas is just thankful to be alive.
“Every step of the way was amazing,” he says. “It just felt like learning how to do everything over again but in a very real, very good way.”
“I would like to start by just saying that there are no words to truly describe the debt and gratitude or love that I possess for the donor’s family,” Dallas says. “The choices that they made have in a very great, in a very real way, changed my life and my daughter’s. And, so from the bottom of my heart, and from the bottom of hers, we thank you very much.”
Over the next six to nine months, Dallas will be working toward regaining facial function and sensation in parts of his face. And, even more inspiring, he wants to head to to college and get his degree. Amazing.
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