(Habesha2day) Patrick Hardison was working as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Senatobia, 40 miles south of Memphis, when he got a desperate call. A house was in flames, with a woman trapped inside. Hardison arrived on the scene and raced inside, moments before the roof suddenly collapsed. His helmet was knocked off, and he felt his mask melting. He closed his eyes and jumped out the window.Hardison lost his eyelids, ears, lips and most of his nose, as well as his hair, because of that fire. He also had disfiguring third-degree burns across his entire face, head, neck and upper torso. His skin was so badly damaged that he was not even able to close his eyes completely.
A volunteer firefighter whose face was burned off during a home fire rescue has received the world's most extensive face transplant, New York University Langone Medical Centre said.After a 26-hour surgery performed at the New York hospital in August, 41-year-old Patrick Hardison from Mississippi is living with the face of 26-year-old David Rodebaugh.Mr Rodebaugh was a BMX extreme bicycling enthusiast from Brooklyn who was pronounced brain dead after a cycling accident.
For the first time since that raging fire in Senatobia, Mississippi, in 2001, Mr Hardison can blink and even sleep with his eyes closed. His surgeon, Eduardo Rodriguez, said these were important steps to sparing his blue eyes from blindness that previously seemed all but inevitable. Dr Rodriguez led the 150-person medical team that performed the procedure.