Woman Becomes Youngest Person Ever to Receive Face Transplant

Woman Becomes Youngest Person Ever to Receive Face Transplant

Woman Becomes Youngest Person Ever to Receive Face Transplant

The youngest face transplant patient in the US, now 22, has emerged in a documentary four years after she attempted suicide by firing a high-powered rifle under her chin, USA Today reported on Tuesday.

Now, at 22, she is featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine's September issue, released on Tuesday (Aug 14) in a piece titled "The Story of a Face".

Katie Stubblefield, 21, is the youngest face transplant recipient in US history, as featured on the cover of National Geographic's September issue. Now she's sharing her story with the world. After so many emotional hurdles, Stubblefield pulled the trigger in the bathroom at her older brother's residence.

After the suicide attempt, Katie lost most of her vision, had a compromised ability to speak and was unable to take care of herself, the page said.

As a teen, Stubblefield struggled with health issues, problems in her love life, and major family moves. "The Story of A Face" shares the journey before and after the young woman's surgery and her hope for the future.

"That's number one, but beyond that, I'd like her to have some level of normalcy", he said.

However, Steber was in Dubai when the Stubblefields finally received the call that a donor had been found for Stubblefield's face transplant.

"There was an older trauma surgeon who basically told us, 'It's the worst wound that I've ever seen of its kind, ' and he said, 'The only thing I can think of that would really give her functional life again is a face transplant, ' " Robb said. "She can try to save other young lives".

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"I felt so guilty that I had put my family through such pain". In 2014, during her senior year of high school, her world upended.

Ms Stubblefield was on the transplant list for over a year before a donor was found: Andrea Schneider, a 31-year-old organ donor who had recently passed away, was a match.

The 31-hour surgery took place on May 4, 2017, and it involved several specialists, 11 surgeons, and a great deal of virtual reality technology.

She goes through physical and occupational therapy, takes Braille lessons, sees a speech therapist, and will have to take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of her life, just so her immune system won't attack her transplanted tissues.

"I never thought of doing that ever before, and so on hearing about it, I just didn't know how to handle it", she told National Geographic.

The idea of putting the young woman through this surgery came after her parents talked to a surgeon in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was flown for treatment after the suicide attempt. Permission required for reproduction.

Ms. Stubblefield plans to attend online college to pursue a career in counseling and motivational speaking to raise awareness about suicide and its prevention. Almost 45,000 lives were lost to suicide in 2016, and more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition.

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