Face transplant patient offered job at university

Face transplant patient offered job at university

ANTALYA - Doğan News Agency
Face transplant patient offered job at university

During the press meeting Uğur Acar (M) was accompanied by İsrafil Kurtcephe, the rector of Akdeniz University (L) and Dr. Ömer Özkan (R), who led the operation. AA photo

Turkey’s first face transplant patient Uğur Acar was offered a job during a live broadcast of a press meeting held almost one month after his historic surgery.

Acar, 19, had complained about unemployment before his surgery. “The reason I wanted to have this surgery was because I couldn’t get a job and frightened children,” Acar had said. İsrafil Kurtcephe, the rector of Akdeniz University in the southern province of Antalya, said the university would be honored to employ him if Acar would like to work with the university staff.

“I was fed up with my life so I abandoned my village and tried to find a hospital in the city to help me with my face. I had some operations in Istanbul which were unsuccessful. Kayseri was my second stop, and then I headed to Ankara where I met Dr. Ömer [Özkan], who made me believe that I could do this operation. So here I am,” Acar said during the press meeting.

Acar also said he believed he would be able to operate his face much better in a year. He then stopped talking after these words, saying he was tired.

During the press meeting, Kurtcephe said Turkey was becoming one of the leading countries in the world for transplantation operations. Özkan, the head of the 25-member team who led the operation, said the operation was built up over years with small experiences.

Symbolic operation

“This was a symbolic operation for Turkey and it will encourage society to donate their organs,” Özkan said. Özkan had said he was not going to attend yesterday’s press meeting after a media crisis occurred following a private news channel’s announcement they would broadcast a special interview with him for the first time. Acar was suddenly brought in front of the cameras waiting outside of the hospital on Jan. 21 after private broadcaster NTV announced it had lined up a special interview with the recovering patient.

Acar’s transplant was conducted Jan. 21 using the face of 39-year-old Ahmet Kaya, who died Jan. 20. The patient saw his new face in the mirror for the first time last week after being shaved by doctors. His face had suffered severe burns in a house fire when he was a baby.