American firefighter Patrick Hardison just got the world’s most extensive face transplant. His new look is revealed three months after a gruelling 26-hour surgery carried out at the New York hospital in August.

Dr Eduardo Rodriguez led the 150-person medical team that performed the procedure, giving the 41-year-old a brand new face. His team had to practice for one year to get everything right, according to Reuters.

The donor was the late David Rodebaugh. He was a 26-year-old bicycling enthusiast who was killed in a cycling accident.

Patrick suffered third-degree burns in his entire face and scalp. He attempted to rescue a woman trapped during the raging fire in Senatobia, Mississippi, in 2001.

The medical team only had one chance to painstakingly put everything in place. “The amount of tissue that was transplanted in Patrick’s face has not been transplanted before,” Rodriguez said during a conference in New York.

They needed to remove all of the scars and get down to the healthy tissues so Hardison could be able to function and look normal once again. This proved to be a success when no one gave Patrick a second look while out on shopping for new clothes with the medical team.

This risky procedure is estimated at $1 million and will be paid for by New York University (NYU). NYU took the case after Hardison’s friend reached out to them.

David Rodebaugh’s mother, who gave the permission for the transplant, was just as pleased with the result as Patrick. She praised the medical team telling them that Patrick is beautiful.

Rodriguez is optimistic about the future of the medical field. “This provides great hope for individuals that are missing eyelids with vision,” he said. “The fact that we can transplant the entire scalp with the face, that’s a very important discovery and it was done in a manner where we preserved the blood vessels that go to the skull.”

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