Youngest American Woman To Receive Full Face Transplant, One Year Post-Op

Woman, 21, Gets Full Face Transplant After Shooting Face Off In Suicide Attempt — Pics

In 2014, Stubblefield reportedly tried to commit suicide at 18 years old when she saw her boyfriend's texts with another girl.

To prepare for the surgery, doctors used 3D printing to assist with reconstructing about 90 per cent of her jaw, using her older sister Olivia McCay as a model.

She is featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine's September issue, which debuted Tuesday, in an article titled "The Story of a Face" and in National Geographic's full-length documentary "Katie's Face".

There are still months of slow healing and painful therapy ahead.

It has now been more than a year since 22-year-old Katie Stubblefield underwent a 31-hour operation to give her a new face.

Katie Stubblefield, now 22, became the youngest face transplant recipient in USA history a year ago. "I get a second chance at life now", Stubblefield said before her surgery began.

In 2017, it was decided that Stubblefield would undergo a face transplant. Her parents are looking into eye transplants for her next, so her eyesight can be restored. The world's first successful full face transplant was conducted at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona, Spain, in 2010. Katie, 22, one year and one month after her surgery. And she is speaking about her surgery to help warn of the lasting harms of suicide. "Forget the face transplant; we're talking about just being alive". Her life was saved in Memphis and she was transferred to the Cleveland Clinic in OH, where 15 specialists "patched her face" (Connors explains how).

It was received from Adrea Schneider, who dies of an drug overdose.

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The surgery was performed at the Cleveland Clinic by 11 surgeons in OH in May.

"I'm definitely taking many, many daily steps".

It was paid for by the US Department of Defence through the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

Photographer Maggie Steber, who spent two-and-a-half years capturing Katie and her family on camera, said: 'They are warriors.

While Katie's medical care team hopes that her surgery can advance the field of face transplantation, there are many other hopes for her future. "That's number one, but beyond that, I'd like her to have some level of normalcy".

But she intends to pick up where she left off, she told National Geographic, going to college and perhaps pursuing a career in counseling. "Then, she can do all that and become a spokeswoman for so many aspects - for how to be strong in the face of adversity and not to make a singular decision dictate who you are".

Stubblefield will remain a lifelong subject in the study of a still experimental procedure. "She can try to save other young lives". "Now I want to help other people". The procedure was Cleveland Clinic's third of its kind and the 40th known in the world.

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