The Morbidly Fascinating Page
The Morbidly Fascinating Page
This Month's Subject:
IN THE MORBIDLY FASCINATING ARCHIVES:
Permanent Halloween Costumes
CONNIE CULP (USA)
Connie Culp before shooting (above).
Connie after shooting (above).
Stages of Connie's surgery full face (above).
Stages of Connie's surgery side face (above).
Connie recently interviewed on TV by ABC's Diane Sawyer.
Oscar before and after surgery (above).
Oscar after initial surgery (there are more surgeries scheduled).
Medical staff greets Oscar (above).
COMPUTER RENDERING OF FACE TRANSPLANTS (below).
ABOUT CONNIE CULP
Connie Culp's long ordeal began six years ago, when her husband, Thomas Culp, shot her in the face with a shotgun before attempting suicide himself. The gunshot ripped away 80 percent of Connie Culp's face, including her nose, cheeks, he roof of her mouth and one eye. Hundreds of bone fragments and shotgun pellets were lodged in her face, with only her upper eyelids, forehead, lower lip and chin remaining.
Her husband was sentenced to seven years in prison, though he's coming up for parole this year.
When Culp first spoke on television to Diane Sawyer in 2009, she said she forgave her husband on the day of the attack. Though she's now going through divorce proceedings, she says that even today, she still loves him.
"I always will [love him.] I mean, I have two kids by him," Culp said. "But you know what? I cannot be with him anymore."
"This is amazing both technically, surgically, but also philosophically. The face of someone else is being adopted and accepted by the face of the recipient," said Dr. Maria Siemionow, the Cleveland Clinic surgeon who led the team that performed Culp's transplant surgery. "You can see a live person who is happy her life is back."
Find out more about Connie HERE.
A Spanish man who underwent a full face transplant appeared before TV cameras, thanking his doctors and the family of the donor.
Identified only as Oscar, the 31-year-old spoke with considerable difficulty at a news conference at Vall d'Hebron hospital, where he was operated on in late March 2010.
During the 24-hour surgery, doctors lifted an entire face, including jaw, nose, cheekbones, muscles, teeth and eyelids, and placed it masklike onto the man. He has been described as a farmer who was unable to breathe or eat on his own after accidentally shooting himself in the face five years ago.
He is now 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.
But he also suffered acute rejection twice -- once four weeks after the surgery and again between the second and third months. Both times, the new face was saved with medication.
Find out more about Oscar HERE.
ABOUT FACE TRANSPLANTS
During the surgery, doctors first cut and peel away the donor's face. How much of the face is removed and transplanted is based on whether the procedure is a partial or full face transplant. Depending on the extent of the damage to the recipient's face, the surgeons will take not only the skin but also the underlying fat, muscle, cartilage, nerves, arteries and veins. Some patients will need replacement bone as well.
Find out more about the procedure HERE.