Wednesday 27 October 2010
This image was taken during a press conference which marked the first time Oscar appeared in public since the face transplant took place about four months ago. Prior to the transplant, the patient could only breathe and be fed through tubes, but now he has "a new nose, lips, cheekbone, lower and upper jawbone, palate, teeth, skin and muscles." As a result of those new parts, he is able to speak again—though still requires speech therapy—and is beginning to consume liquids and soft food without the aid of a tube.
Along with happiness about the success of this operation, there appear to be plenty of concerns and jokes regarding the potential dangers of full face transplants, but they're not necessary:
The 30-strong medical team, led by doctor Joan Pere Barret, was at pains to stress that Oscar's face does not look like the face of his donor, but rather is an amalgam of the two. "He absolutely does not look like the donor patient, and I think that's important for society to know. In terms of future donations of faces there is no such danger of this."
So let's not fret about an old John Travolta and Nicolas Cage movie and instead be happy that this man has been given a chance at a somewhat better life than what he had before.