Dallas Wiens is ready to move on with his new face and his new life.
The nation’s first full-face transplant patient spoke publicly for the first time yesterday as he prepares to soon leave Brigham and Women’s Hospital where the procedure was performed.
The next step in Wiens’ long road starts with him returning home to Texas.
Doctors there will monitor his progress. While speaking with reporters yesterday, Wiens’ new face appeared loose, but doctors said he will soon begin to regain his facial nerve and muscle function.
Doctors showed a video of Jim Maki, the second man to receive a partial-face transplant, to show the improvement in his facial function. They said they were confident Wiens would gain that control over his facial function.
“To me, this feels natural. It has become my own,” Wiens said.
Wiens has already regained his sense of smell and his sense of taste has also increased. He is hopeful that science will someday find a way to return his eyesight.
Wiens suffered burns when his head came in contact with high voltage wires while he was working on a lift.
Further interview requests for Wiens and his family were being handled by a communications company based in Washington, D.C.
Maki’s story was told in a book called “The Match.” Wiens’ plans were unclear, but he knew one thing:
“I’m just going to be the best father I can be and provide for my daughter in the best way possible,” he said.
Daddy’s little girl
A short time after the surgery, Wiens received a visit from his daughter, Scarlette. When asked her reaction, she called him “handsome,” he said. Wiens will soon leave the hospital and will return home, where he said the first thing he will do is hold his daughter.