Eleven months after having a surface transplant surgery in New York, Cameron Underwood smiles again.
The 26-year-old man lost from Yuba, Calif, the majority of his lower chin, his nose, and all but teeth after he was abolished to face the surface in June 2016.
After a number of unsuccessful attempts in conventional surface reorganization, Underwood and his family reached a famous plastic surgeon, Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, athletic plastic surgery professor and chair of plastic surgery department at NYU Langone Health.
Shortly afterwards, Dr. Rodriguez and Underwood decided to be a good candidate for a surface transplant.
"When we first met Cameron, we were confident that we could improve its appearance and, more importantly, its role and quality of life," said Dr Rodriguez in a press release on Thursday.
Only six months after Forest was placed on an organ donor list in July 2017 before finding a perfect match for him. William Fisher, a 23-year-old writer and film maker from New York, was registered as an organ donor before his death and was chosen as a donor compatible to Underwood.
After receiving permission from the Fisher family and securing the appropriate approvals, Dr. Rodriguez is ready to lead a surgical team of NYU Langone Health in the third-faceted transplant of his career, and it is considered second that that record is a large surface transplant on record, according to the health center.
The plastic surgeon said that he was optimistic about the chance of Underwood for success because of the relatively short period – only 18 months – from time he was injured to the surgery.
"Cameron has not lived with an injury for more than a decade or so since most recipients transplant other faces," he said. "As a result, it had not had to deal with many long-term psychosocial issues that often result in problems such as severe depression, substance misuse, and other harmful behavioral behavior."
In January, a team of more than 100 medical professionals from NYU Langone Health was transplanted and the top and bottom of Underwood, its mouth, and all 32 teeth and a valley were restored. Its nose, the lower legs and nuts were also replaced during the 25 hour surgery.
The surgical team used up-to-date technology, including 3D imaging and CAT scans inactive to make the face bones perfectly aligned and the plates and screws were created to create the donor surface to Underwood in the right position.
Following the successful operation, Underwood spent several weeks in hospital before being released before the February timetable. He returned home to California and has been traveling to New York for subsequent follow up appointments since then.
On Thursday, Underwood stood on stage before an audience – which included his impressive family – to show the results of his surgery almost a year ago. He took the opportunity to thank Dr. Rodriguez and his medical team as well as his family's donor.
"I want Sally [Fisher’s mother] and a family to know how much my family and I appreciate their gift and I will always honor the Will's legacy, "he told the press conference on New York.
Although she was frightened by her son's death, Sally said she was grateful that his decision to be a donor could give Secondwood a second chance.
"Being part of this experience has been a strong source for me during a very difficult time. I do not think we would survive a Will's death if not for Cameron," he said in a statement. "Cameron has his whole life of front – and I love the idea that Willie helps him get a better life."
Despite the impressive results of Underwood, Dr. Rodriguez said that his patient had a lot of work to do in his healing process, such as improving his hair, swallowing and talking. He will also have to continue to take refusal medications for the rest of his life so his body does not reject his face.
Although her way to restore has not stopped, Underwood said he was still positive and looking forward to the future. He also took a moment to praise Dr Rodriguez for his efforts.
"He did such a good job, I can use my old ID," he told WCBS a local news station after the press conference.