Third face transplant patient fine
ANKARA - Anatolia News AgencyTurkey’s third face transplant patient has begun to breathe on her own without the aid of medical devices, according to a written statement issued yesterday by the Gazi University Medical Faculty in Ankara.
The patient, H.N, who can only communicate at the moment by writing on a piece of paper, said she could not wait to hug her nephews and nieces and asked those around to her to wipe her tears. “I love you,” she wrote to Assoc. Prof. Selahattin Özmen, who led the team of 12 doctors in performing the surgery.
“There are no problems with the state of the transplanted tissue. [We] will continue to give the patient drugs to suppress her immune system and other medicines,” read the statement. Hospital personnel also requested that the identities of the patient and the donor remain undisclosed, as it could deter other potential donors in the future.
The patient has not yet seen her new face, and will only do so in the company of psychiatrists in due time, Özmen added.
The medical team who performed the surgery on March 17 partially transplanted the face of a 28 year old woman onto the 20-year-old patient, who had reportedly lost a large amount of tissue on her nose, upper chin, palate and upper lip following a gun accident in 2007. The partial face transplant is the third such operation to take place in Turkey since the start of this year. Uğur Acar became Turkey’s first full face transplant patient at Akdeniz University in the southern province of Antalya on Jan. 21, while Cengiz Gür, 25, received another face transplant last month at Ankara’s Hacettepe University.