You are viewing the content for Tuesday 7 February 2006

First face transplant patient goes public

Isabelle Dinoire

By Angela Doland, Amiens
THE Frenchwoman who received the world’s first partial face transplant showed off her new features yesterday, saying in a heavily slurred voice that she now looks "like everyone else" and hopes to resume a normal life.

Isabelle Dinoire's speech was difficult to understand, but she explained how she was disfigured by a dog bite last year, and she thanked the family of the donor who gave her new lips, a chin and nose.

A circular scar was still visible where the face tissue was attached in the 15-hour operation in Amiens on November 27.

"I have a face like everyone else," Ms Dinoire said at her first news conference since the groundbreaking surgery in November.

Ms Dinoire, who is in her late 30s, appeared to still have great difficulty moving or even closing her mouth, which often hung open. But she said that she was regaining sensation.

"I can open my mouth and eat. I feel my lips, my nose and my mouth," she said. During the news conference, while one of her surgeons was speaking, she lifted a cup to her lips and appeared to drink.

In terms of colouring, the match between her own skin and the graft was remarkable. When she laughed, she was able to slightly lift a corner of her mouth but appeared unable to bring her lips together to form a full smile.

She said she was pursuing physical therapy and noted that she will have to continue taking drugs to stop her body from rejecting the donated tissue. Yet, she looked forward to the future.

"I expect to resume a normal life... I pay homage to the donor's family," she said. "My operation could help others to live again."

Her doctors, who also attended the news conference, said they have asked French health authorities for permission to perform another five face transplants.

Doctor Jean Michel Dubernard said they want "to give this operation to many, many other people in France and in the world."

The surgeons defended their decision to go ahead with the untried procedure, saying they repeatedly warned Ms Dinoire about the risks involved.

The doctors said they could not say for sure how long the transplanted tissue might stay alive.

Ms Dinoire, a divorced mother of two teenage daughters, spoke frankly about the attack in May by her labrador.

She said she was wrestling with personal problems at the time, and "took some drugs to forget," which knocked her out.

She said she was passed out when the dog bit her, and she did not immediately realise the extent of her disfigurement when she awoke.

"When I woke up, I tried to light a cigarette, and I didn't understand why I couldn't hold it between my lips," she said.

"I looked at myself in the mirror, and there, horrified, I couldn't believe what I saw especially because it didn't hurt. Ever since this day, my life has changed."

 

First face transplant patient goes public

Isabelle Dinoire

By Angela Doland, Amiens
THE Frenchwoman who received the world’s first partial face transplant showed off her new features yesterday, saying in a heavily slurred voice that she now looks "like everyone else" and hopes to resume a normal life.

Isabelle Dinoire's speech was difficult to understand, but she explained how she was disfigured by a dog bite last year, and she thanked the family of the donor who gave her new lips, a chin and nose.

A circular scar was still visible where the face tissue was attached in the 15-hour operation in Amiens on November 27.

"I have a face like everyone else," Ms Dinoire said at her first news conference since the groundbreaking surgery in November.

Ms Dinoire, who is in her late 30s, appeared to still have great difficulty moving or even closing her mouth, which often hung open. But she said that she was regaining sensation.

"I can open my mouth and eat. I feel my lips, my nose and my mouth," she said. During the news conference, while one of her surgeons was speaking, she lifted a cup to her lips and appeared to drink.

In terms of colouring, the match between her own skin and the graft was remarkable. When she laughed, she was able to slightly lift a corner of her mouth but appeared unable to bring her lips together to form a full smile.

She said she was pursuing physical therapy and noted that she will have to continue taking drugs to stop her body from rejecting the donated tissue. Yet, she looked forward to the future.

"I expect to resume a normal life... I pay homage to the donor's family," she said. "My operation could help others to live again."

Her doctors, who also attended the news conference, said they have asked French health authorities for permission to perform another five face transplants.

Doctor Jean Michel Dubernard said they want "to give this operation to many, many other people in France and in the world."

The surgeons defended their decision to go ahead with the untried procedure, saying they repeatedly warned Ms Dinoire about the risks involved.

The doctors said they could not say for sure how long the transplanted tissue might stay alive.

Ms Dinoire, a divorced mother of two teenage daughters, spoke frankly about the attack in May by her labrador.

She said she was wrestling with personal problems at the time, and "took some drugs to forget," which knocked her out.

She said she was passed out when the dog bit her, and she did not immediately realise the extent of her disfigurement when she awoke.

"When I woke up, I tried to light a cigarette, and I didn't understand why I couldn't hold it between my lips," she said.

"I looked at myself in the mirror, and there, horrified, I couldn't believe what I saw especially because it didn't hurt. Ever since this day, my life has changed."

 

First face transplant patient goes public

Isabelle Dinoire

By Angela Doland, Amiens
THE Frenchwoman who received the world’s first partial face transplant showed off her new features yesterday, saying in a heavily slurred voice that she now looks "like everyone else" and hopes to resume a normal life.

Isabelle Dinoire's speech was difficult to understand, but she explained how she was disfigured by a dog bite last year, and she thanked the family of the donor who gave her new lips, a chin and nose.

A circular scar was still visible where the face tissue was attached in the 15-hour operation in Amiens on November 27.

"I have a face like everyone else," Ms Dinoire said at her first news conference since the groundbreaking surgery in November.

Ms Dinoire, who is in her late 30s, appeared to still have great difficulty moving or even closing her mouth, which often hung open. But she said that she was regaining sensation.

"I can open my mouth and eat. I feel my lips, my nose and my mouth," she said. During the news conference, while one of her surgeons was speaking, she lifted a cup to her lips and appeared to drink.

In terms of colouring, the match between her own skin and the graft was remarkable. When she laughed, she was able to slightly lift a corner of her mouth but appeared unable to bring her lips together to form a full smile.

She said she was pursuing physical therapy and noted that she will have to continue taking drugs to stop her body from rejecting the donated tissue. Yet, she looked forward to the future.

"I expect to resume a normal life... I pay homage to the donor's family," she said. "My operation could help others to live again."

Her doctors, who also attended the news conference, said they have asked French health authorities for permission to perform another five face transplants.

Doctor Jean Michel Dubernard said they want "to give this operation to many, many other people in France and in the world."

The surgeons defended their decision to go ahead with the untried procedure, saying they repeatedly warned Ms Dinoire about the risks involved.

The doctors said they could not say for sure how long the transplanted tissue might stay alive.

Ms Dinoire, a divorced mother of two teenage daughters, spoke frankly about the attack in May by her labrador.

She said she was wrestling with personal problems at the time, and "took some drugs to forget," which knocked her out.

She said she was passed out when the dog bit her, and she did not immediately realise the extent of her disfigurement when she awoke.

"When I woke up, I tried to light a cigarette, and I didn't understand why I couldn't hold it between my lips," she said.

"I looked at myself in the mirror, and there, horrified, I couldn't believe what I saw especially because it didn't hurt. Ever since this day, my life has changed."

 

First face transplant patient goes public

Isabelle Dinoire

By Angela Doland, Amiens
THE Frenchwoman who received the world’s first partial face transplant showed off her new features yesterday, saying in a heavily slurred voice that she now looks "like everyone else" and hopes to resume a normal life.

Isabelle Dinoire's speech was difficult to understand, but she explained how she was disfigured by a dog bite last year, and she thanked the family of the donor who gave her new lips, a chin and nose.

A circular scar was still visible where the face tissue was attached in the 15-hour operation in Amiens on November 27.

"I have a face like everyone else," Ms Dinoire said at her first news conference since the groundbreaking surgery in November.

Ms Dinoire, who is in her late 30s, appeared to still have great difficulty moving or even closing her mouth, which often hung open. But she said that she was regaining sensation.

"I can open my mouth and eat. I feel my lips, my nose and my mouth," she said. During the news conference, while one of her surgeons was speaking, she lifted a cup to her lips and appeared to drink.

In terms of colouring, the match between her own skin and the graft was remarkable. When she laughed, she was able to slightly lift a corner of her mouth but appeared unable to bring her lips together to form a full smile.

She said she was pursuing physical therapy and noted that she will have to continue taking drugs to stop her body from rejecting the donated tissue. Yet, she looked forward to the future.

"I expect to resume a normal life... I pay homage to the donor's family," she said. "My operation could help others to live again."

Her doctors, who also attended the news conference, said they have asked French health authorities for permission to perform another five face transplants.

Doctor Jean Michel Dubernard said they want "to give this operation to many, many other people in France and in the world."

The surgeons defended their decision to go ahead with the untried procedure, saying they repeatedly warned Ms Dinoire about the risks involved.

The doctors said they could not say for sure how long the transplanted tissue might stay alive.

Ms Dinoire, a divorced mother of two teenage daughters, spoke frankly about the attack in May by her labrador.

She said she was wrestling with personal problems at the time, and "took some drugs to forget," which knocked her out.

She said she was passed out when the dog bit her, and she did not immediately realise the extent of her disfigurement when she awoke.

"When I woke up, I tried to light a cigarette, and I didn't understand why I couldn't hold it between my lips," she said.

"I looked at myself in the mirror, and there, horrified, I couldn't believe what I saw especially because it didn't hurt. Ever since this day, my life has changed."

 

First face transplant patient goes public

Isabelle Dinoire

By Angela Doland, Amiens
THE Frenchwoman who received the world’s first partial face transplant showed off her new features yesterday, saying in a heavily slurred voice that she now looks "like everyone else" and hopes to resume a normal life.

Isabelle Dinoire's speech was difficult to understand, but she explained how she was disfigured by a dog bite last year, and she thanked the family of the donor who gave her new lips, a chin and nose.

A circular scar was still visible where the face tissue was attached in the 15-hour operation in Amiens on November 27.

"I have a face like everyone else," Ms Dinoire said at her first news conference since the groundbreaking surgery in November.

Ms Dinoire, who is in her late 30s, appeared to still have great difficulty moving or even closing her mouth, which often hung open. But she said that she was regaining sensation.

"I can open my mouth and eat. I feel my lips, my nose and my mouth," she said. During the news conference, while one of her surgeons was speaking, she lifted a cup to her lips and appeared to drink.

In terms of colouring, the match between her own skin and the graft was remarkable. When she laughed, she was able to slightly lift a corner of her mouth but appeared unable to bring her lips together to form a full smile.

She said she was pursuing physical therapy and noted that she will have to continue taking drugs to stop her body from rejecting the donated tissue. Yet, she looked forward to the future.

"I expect to resume a normal life... I pay homage to the donor's family," she said. "My operation could help others to live again."

Her doctors, who also attended the news conference, said they have asked French health authorities for permission to perform another five face transplants.

Doctor Jean Michel Dubernard said they want "to give this operation to many, many other people in France and in the world."

The surgeons defended their decision to go ahead with the untried procedure, saying they repeatedly warned Ms Dinoire about the risks involved.

The doctors said they could not say for sure how long the transplanted tissue might stay alive.

Ms Dinoire, a divorced mother of two teenage daughters, spoke frankly about the attack in May by her labrador.

She said she was wrestling with personal problems at the time, and "took some drugs to forget," which knocked her out.

She said she was passed out when the dog bit her, and she did not immediately realise the extent of her disfigurement when she awoke.

"When I woke up, I tried to light a cigarette, and I didn't understand why I couldn't hold it between my lips," she said.

"I looked at myself in the mirror, and there, horrified, I couldn't believe what I saw especially because it didn't hurt. Ever since this day, my life has changed."