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I had a full face transplant – the best decision I’ve ever made

A former soldier found a new life a decade after a horrific car accident in 2001.

Mitch Hunter, 42, underwent a life-changing full-face transplant 10 years later — only the second person in the US to receive it — that altered his physical appearance.

And he has now declared that the surgery was “the best decision I’ve ever made”.

The Indianapolis native lay on the operating table for 14 hours as 30 doctors used their time and skill to fix his cup, according to the South West News Service.

The surgery came 10 years after the accident in which a car he was in crashed into a 10,000-volt utility pole on a North Carolina freeway.

He pushed an injured female passenger out of the way to rescue her, but electrical currents then pulsed through his body — mostly his face — for about five minutes, according to SWNS.

Face transplant Mitch Hunter
Mitch Hunter, a former soldier (left), was involved in a car accident in 2001 that left him disfigured (above right). He has since received a full face transplant (below right) that changed his life.
Mitch Hunter/SWNS

After the crash, Hunter spent two months in a hospital and endured 67 reconstructive facial surgeries. Part of his right leg was amputated due to his burns, and he also required 20 skin grafts from his leg to fix the skin on his face and neck.

“I couldn’t believe how drastically my life had changed in just a few minutes,” he said.

The father of three later received the face transplant from a deceased organ donor, who used skin, soft tissue and cartilage from his nose, beard and eyebrows to transform Hunter’s new face.

Surgeons work on Mitch Hunter's face transplant at a Boston hospital.
Surgeons work on Mitch Hunter’s face transplant at a Boston hospital.
Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Barcroft Media Ltd.
Mitch Hunter was just 21 years old when he was involved in the accident.
Mitch Hunter was just 21 years old when he was involved in the accident.
Mitch Hunter/SWNS
Mitch Hunter from Indianapolis, Indiana had a full face transplant. SWFHtransplant - By Harrison Moore Hero Soldier who underwent second full-face transplant in US history says'It's the best decision I've ever made' - as he looks back on his life since going under the knife . Mitch Hunter was just 21 years old when he was involved in a horrific accident that left him disfigured. He was in a car with his boyfriend and his girlfriend when they crashed into a 10,000-volt utility pole after a night out. The former soldier, who served in the US Army, pushed the passenger out of the way of the electric current, suffering burns to her face, hands and leg.
Hunter received a face transplant 10 years after the first accident and spent 14 hours on the operating table.
Mitch Hunter/SWNS

The ex-soldier now has a beard and full emotion in his face again. After five months of swelling, its facade was fully formed.

“Oddly enough, I can grow my beard that once belonged to the donor — which is really weird,” Hunter said.

His decision to have the transplant came about because he didn’t want his children to be bullied and labeled “outcasts” because of his disfigurement.

Mitch Hunter from Indianapolis, Indiana had a full face transplant. SWFHtransplant - By Harrison Moore Hero Soldier who underwent second full-face transplant in US history says'It's the best decision I've ever made' - as he looks back on his life since going under the knife . Mitch Hunter was just 21 years old when he was involved in a horrific accident that left him disfigured. He was in a car with his boyfriend and his girlfriend when they crashed into a 10,000-volt utility pole after a night out. The former soldier, who served in the US Army, pushed the passenger out of the way of the electric current, suffering burns to her face, hands and leg.
The father-of-three noted that the surgery was “the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Mitch Hunter/SWNS

“It’s annoying when people scream at the sight of you and I couldn’t imagine that happening around my own kids,” he said.

Recalling the aftermath of his accident, he realized that his family and friends were afraid to show him his reflection in the mirror.

“No one showed me a mirror for a few days, until my ex-girlfriend at the time came to visit and brought one,” he said. “I can’t describe the feeling I had when I saw myself like this, it didn’t feel real. I was unrecognizable.”

He also had no recollection of what had happened when he woke up a long 27 days after the tragedy.

“The transplant was the best decision of my life and it helped me put the accident behind me and finally move on with my life,” he told SWNS.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/28/i-had-a-full-face-transplant-was-best-decision-i-ever-made/ I had a full face transplant – the best decision I’ve ever made

DUSTIN JONES

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