World’s Third Full Face Transplant Patient Says Operation ‘Best Decision’ Of His Life
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Featured Image Credit: Mitch Hunter/Instagram
Warning: Graphic Content
A man who became the third person in the world to undergo a face transplant has said the procedure was the 'best decision' of his life.
Mitch Hunter, 42, now proudly shares posts of his face and transformation on social media after undergoing his face transplant as a result of injuries he suffered in a car crash when he was 21 years old.
Mitch pushed a female passenger out of the way when the car they were in struck a 10,000 volt electrical pylon, and while she was left with only minor burns to her foot, Mitch suffered burns to his face, hands and leg as the strong electrical current pumped through his body for five straight minutes.
You can watch him speak about the accident and his treatment here:
Mitch said: "I barely remember anything from when the wires touched my face.
"One minute I was helping the injured girl trying to get her away from the pole, the next I was in hospital nearly a month later.
"I knew my injuries were serious when my mum and step mum were in the room consoling one another because they usually hated each other."
Mitch woke up 27 days after the accident, and at first no one would allow him to look at himself in a mirror.
It wasn't until his ex-girlfriend visited him with a mirror that he saw the impacts of the accident, with the 42-year-old saying he 'can't describe the feeling' he had when he saw himself.
"It didn't feel real - I was unrecognisable... I couldn't believe how drastically my life had changed in what was a matter of minutes," he said.
The former soldier, from Indianapolis, Indiana, remained in hospital for two months and went on to undergo a total of 67 facial reconstructive surgeries and an amputation below the knee.
A decade after his accident, he became the second person in the US and the third in the world to undergo a full face transplant, saying the decision came in a bid to prevent his children from being 'bullied or outcast at school'.
He said: "Having people scream at the sight of you is upsetting, and I couldn't imagine that happening in the company of my own children.
"Having the transplant was the best decision of my life, and it has helped me put the accident behind me and finally move on with my life."
Doctors spent more than 14 hours working to reconstruct Mitch's face from an organ donor who had given his 'skin, soft tissue, cartilage from his nose, beard and eyebrows'.
Mitch's operation came after surgeons performed the first face transplant of its kind in the US in 2008.
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