Wyoming man receives face transplant 10 years after suicide attempt

Around a decade after attempting to commit suicide, 31-year-old Andy Sandness has received a face transplant in one the rarest surgeries in the world.

The ‘miracle’ face transplant gave Sandness, a resident of Wyoming, new nose, cheeks, lips, mouth, chin, jaw as well as teeth. The 56-hour-long surgery, which was the first for the Mayo Clinic, was started on 16th of June last year; and involved five dozen surgeons, nurses and others.

The facial parts were donated by a man who was his age and committed suicide. In June last year, Calen “Rudy” Ross killed himself by shooting in the head. His widow, Lilly, carried out her dead husband’s wish to be an organ donor. Sandness attempted suicide in 2006. He survived, but with a scary face.

Dr. Samir Mardini, a specialist in facial reconstruction surgeries, called the extremely complicated facial surgery a “miracle.”

Speaking about the successfully surgery, he said, “I said, ‘Andy, I’ve never lied to you. I’m telling you you’re going to be happy with what you see. He was quizzing me and the nurses all the time.”

Sandness told reporters that he realized that his facial transplant was a success just three months after the surgery when a little boy looked at his face and did not appear frightened. Now, he has plans to work as an electrician and marry to have a family. He also expressed desire to meet Lilly, the donor’s widow.