The first person to have two face transplants says he is recovering well after being dubbed “the man with three faces”.
Jerome Hamon suffered from severely disfiguring tumours and underwent the world’s first full face transplant, including tear ducts and eyelids, in July 2010.
But after taking antibiotics for a common cold, his body began to reject the transplant and his new face had to be removed last November.
That left Mr Hamon without a face, a condition his plastic surgeon described as “the walking dead”, and he was kept in hospital for two months while a compatible donor was sought.
Eventually, a donor was found in January following the death of a 22-year-old man, whose face was quickly transported to the Georges-Pompidou hospital in Paris.
Three months after the ground-breaking transplant procedure, Mr Hamon said he has quickly accepted his new identity and joked he is now “20 years younger”.
“I feel very well in myself, ” he said.
“If I hadn’t accepted this new face it would have been terrible. It’s a question of identity. But here we are, it’s good, it’s me.”
He added: “I’m 43. The donor was 22. So I’ve become 20 years younger.”
Mr Hamon’s new face remains smooth and motionless, with his skull, skin and features yet to be fully aligned.
He remains in hospital and was recently reunited with plastic surgeon Professor Laurent Lantieri, who led the breakthrough surgery.
“For a man who went through all this, which is like going through a nuclear war, he’s doing fine,” Prof Lantieri said.
Anaesthetist Bernard Cholley said everyone at the hospital “was blown away by Jerome’s courage, his will, his strength of character in a tragic situation.
“While he was waiting he never complained, he was even in a good mood.”
There have now been around 40 face transplants throughout the world since the first was performed on Frenchwoman Isabelle Dinoire in northern France in 2005.
(c) Sky News 2018: Man after second face transplant: ‘I’m 20 years younger’