Face transplant patient Acar meets reporters
ANTALYA-Doğan News Agency
Acar walked out of his room and met members of the media yesterday for the first time since undergoing groundbreaking surgery last month. AA photoTurkey’s first face transplant patient, Uğur Acar, met members of the media yesterday for the first time since undergoing groundbreaking surgery last month.
Acar said he hoped to recover quickly and leave his hospital bed as soon as possible. “I would [also] like to thank the donor family very much.”
Speaking to the private news channel NTV, Acar said he liked his new face. “Further treatment will make it even better. It’s a good feeling. I only wish to be discharged from the hospital as soon as possible.”
The patient also told reporters that he did not want to say too much. “I will make the necessary statements tomorrow with the doctors.”
Acar’s appearance in front of the media, meanwhile, caused a minor crisis among his doctors, who are scheduled to answer reporters’ questions today.
Acar was suddenly brought in front of the cameras waiting outside of the hospital yesterday after NTV announced that it had lined up a special interview with the recovering patient, Doğan news agency reported.
The doctor who led the operation, Dr. Ömer Özkan, said he was not going to appear at the press meeting today, but Özkan’s wife, Dr. Özlenen Özkan, who was also on the team that worked on Acar, said she would convince her husband to appear in front of the press today.
A team of 25 doctors at the southern province of Antalya’s Akdeniz University Hospital conducted Acar’s transplant Jan. 21 using the face of 39-year-old Ahmet Kaya, who died Jan. 20.
Acar, 19, lost his face when he suffered severe burns in a house fire when he was a baby. “The reason I wanted to have this surgery was because I couldn’t get a job and frightened children,” Acar had said.
The patient saw his new face in the mirror for the first time last week after being shaved by doctors.
“First, I want to see my mother, because she will also undergo surgery soon. Second, I will visit the face donor Ahmet Kaya’s family. Then I will go to my village, no matter how I look, I am alive. Only now I have a different look, and I thank the doctors for making it possible,” Acar said after seeing his new face.