Monday, July 26, 2010


SPAIN (CNN) - The world’s first full face transplant recipient appeared in public for the first time Monday. A Spanish man who underwent the world’s first full face transplant appeared before television cameras on Monday, for the first time since his surgery in March. The patient, identified only as Oscar, appeared at a press conference at University Hospital Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona, Spain. In March, the Spanish hospital performed the transplant in an operation that took 24 hours. Oscar, whose face was severely injured in an accident, had undergone nine failed operations before being considered for the transplant. Surgeons transplanted the entire facial skin and muscles, nose, lips, maxilla, palate, all teeth, cheekbones and the mandible through plastic surgery and micro-neurovascular reconstructive surgery techniques, according to the hospital. Speaking just before checking out of hospital, Oscar spoke with considerable difficulty. He could not close his mouth and his face appeared swollen. The man reportedly suffered injuries in a shooting accident five years ago.

A younger woman identified as his sister, whose name was not given to protect the family’s privacy, said her brother looks forward to leading a normal life. The head of the surgical team, Dr. Joan Pere Barret, said Monday that Oscar will need between a year and 18 months of physical therapy and is expected to regain up to 90 percent of his facial functions. He is now being released from the hospital and sent home. He is able to drink liquids and eat soft foods, and has been able to speak for the past two months, the hospital said in a statement. The patient also has regained feeling in most of his face and is partly recovering movement of his muscles. One good sign was that a week after the operation, he had to be shaved because of beard growth.

We, as conditioned souls, we strive hard to maintain this temporary body and other relationships arising from the body, such as beauty, the house, wealth, society, which is not bad, but we forget completely that the whole bodily concept is only temporary, because this material world is itself an illusion, like the mirage in the desert.

Every one of us is searching after real happiness in life, namely eternal life, eternal or unlimited knowledge and unending blissful life. But foolish people who have no knowledge of the substance search after the reality of life in the illusion. This material body does not endure eternally, and everything in relation with this temporary body, such as the wife, children, society and country, also changes along with the change of body. This is called samsāra, or repetition of birth, death, old age and disease. We would like to find a solution for all these problems of life, but we do not know the way. Herein it is suggested that anyone who wants to make an end to these miseries of life, namely repetition of birth, death, disease, and old age, must take to this process of worshiping the Supreme Lord.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
“The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam”
Purport in Canto 2 - Chapter 2 - Verse 6.

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