Dallas Wiens: Face transplant recipient speaks at Brigham and Women’s

Dallas Wiens, 26, about a year after his face transplant.

For years, Dallas Wiens couldn’t feel his daughter kiss his face. But now the 26-year-old said he is brought to tears when he feels his daughter touch his cheek.

“I remember the first time she kissed me on the lower part of my cheek,” said Wiens, who is the nation’s first full face transplant recipient. “It was a very cool sensation. As soon as she did it I basically broke into tears of joy.”

Wiens spoke yesterday about his recovery one year after his groundbreaking surgery in Boston. He showed up dressed in a crisp suit. His hair was combed back and he had a soul patch on his chin.

He sat alongside his hometown physician, Dr. Jeffrey Janis, and the head of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital face transplant team, Dr. Bohdan Pomahac.

The doctors said Wiens can now smile and express emotions in his face.

He was severely injured and disfigured after an accident in 2008 when he came into contact with high voltage lines while working on a lift.

Wiens has gained feeling and control of his lips, but still has no teeth. Dental implants are a future step. He also has prosthetic eyes.

For Wiens, the recovery has led to a new feeling about life. He talked about being able to sit in a coffee shop or take a stroll and not get stares or questions from people who see him.

Wiens also said he enjoyed feeling the sunshine on his face.

“Those types of things can’t be measured,” he said.

A ‘model’ patient

Wiens’ doctors called him a model patient.

Pomahac said that one of the most remarkable things about Wiens’ recovery is how he has not had a rejection episode, which is common.

Janis said it takes great physical and mental fortitude to go through what Wiens has. 

Medical advancement

Doctors said they are continuing to learn things about the procedure as Wiens recovers.
Janis said doctors are now more aware of how to treat patients who are admitted with similar injuries and what facial aspects are important to save to preserve the possibility of a future transplant. 

Other transplants

Dallas Wiens was the first full face transplant in the country, but not the last.
   
Mitch Hunter received the second full-face transplant in the nation at Brigham and Women’s in April 2011. He suffered a severe shock from a high voltage wire after a car crash.
   
Charla Nash received a full-face transplant last summer. A chimp mauled her in 2009.
   
James Maki received the nation’s first partial face transplant in 2009, after he fell on the third rail on the MBTA.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Local

The Boston Marathon: Step by step, the race…

For over a century, the Boston Marathon has been an event centered around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there’s no denying the face of the renowned race has been changed…

Local

Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.

Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.