21-year-old receives historic face transplant

21-year-old receives historic face transplant

She will need to take intensive regimens of immunosuppressant medications for the rest of her life, or until a breakthrough in anti-rejection science is made.

It was over a course of multiple surgeries that Katie's face was finally stabalised and patched up by her doctors using her thigh muscles.

In her senior year, she had her appendix and her gallbladder taken out as she continued to battle with digestive issues. A few months later, she and her boyfriend broke up.

Ms Stubblefield does not remember the day she tried to kill her self in March 2014 or much of the months which followed.

The series of events is what set Stubblefield on a path to become the youngest ever recipient of a face transplant at 21.

She is also featured in National Geographic's full-length documentary Katie's Face.

The surgery was performed at the Cleveland Clinic in OH in May and paid for by the US Department of Defense through the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine. It was Adrea's grandmother who agreed to donate her face for transplantation.

In the days prior to Katie's suicide attempt, she faced a number of emotional hurdles. Right: Photo by Martin Schoeller.

It was after a wait for nearly a year of being on the transplant list, that Katie found her match.

A young woman who attempted suicide has been given a new lease on life, one year after becoming the youngest person to undergo a face transplant in the U.S.

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He noted that when he first saw Katie's injury, he anxious that she might not live.

"My first wish for Katie is to be happy", Gastman said. Stubblefield also suffered a traumatic brain injury with damage to her frontal lobe, optic nerve, and pituitary gland. She rarely went out in public except to see doctors. Her parents had to tell her what happened, and it shocked her.

Following the attempt, part of her forehead, nose and sinuses, her mouth except for the corners of her lips and much of her jaw bones were gone, according to National Geographic.

"I felt so guilty that I had put my family through such pain".

However, Steber was in Dubai when the Stubblefields finally received the call that a donor had been found for Stubblefield's face transplant. The procedure was Cleveland Clinic's third of its kind and the 40th known in the world. "Forget the face transplant; we're talking about just being alive".

Ms Stubblefield waited for a transplant for over a year, before a matching donor was found. "When my parents helped explain everything to me, I was very excited to get a face again and to have function again". "She can try to save other young lives". "This surgery can give her back the self-esteem and confidence she lost". The only problem? This posed a greater risk of Katie's body rejecting the new face.

As Katie Stubblefield brushed her fingers across her face, she could feel the wound.

But she intends to pick up where she left off, she told National Geographic, going to college and perhaps pursuing a career in counseling.

"So many people have helped me; now I want to help other people", she told National Geographic.

She hopes to speak to teenagers about suicide prevention, echoing what she told CNN: "Life is precious, and life is lovely".