An Indiana man has been approved for a rare face transplant a decade after he suffered horrible facial burns when he came in contact with a live wire while saving a friend after a car crash.

Mitch Hunter recently was placed on a face transplant list at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and now faces a wait for donor tissue that could last several months or longer, said Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, the hospital’s director of plastic surgery transplantation.

Hunter, a 30-year-old Indianapolis resident, hopes the surgery can help him regain some normalcy in his life and end the stares of strangers he’s endured since the 2001 accident.

"One surgeon said, `We can guarantee that you’ll look 80 percent like you did before, but we’ll shoot for 100%,"’ Hunter told The Indianapolis Star. "I’m like — right on."

Hunter was 21 and recently discharged from the Army after two years at Fort Bragg, NC, when a car in which he was riding crashed, toppling a power line. After the crash, he pushed aside a female friend who was thrown from the car onto the live wire.

But in doing so he was jolted with 10,000 volts of electricity that cost him his left leg below his knee, two fingers on one hand and left him with burns that destroyed the skin on his face and eyelids.


[Source: Chicago Tribune]