Head Injury

Face transplant recipient meets donor’s sister

Richard Norris at his prom, after his accident and after the face transplant.

Richard Norris at his prom, after his accident and after the face transplant.  (University of Maryland Medical Center )

Rebekah Aversano was meeting Richard Norris for the first time, but she had seen his face before — on her brother. 

After Aversano’s brother, Joshua, was tragically killed in a car accident in 2012, their family made a decision that changed Norris’ life.

Norris, 39, had been horribly disfigured 15 years earlier in a shotgun accident that blew away his lips, teeth, nose and much of his upper and lower jaws.

Norris had volunteered for a risky and ground-breaking transplant surgery.

Three years ago, Aversano’s family gave him Joshua’s face. 

“Do you mind if I touch it?’’ Aversano said when they met at Norris’ Virginia home for the first time in a one-on-one recorded by “60 Minutes Australia.”

“No, not all all,” Norris said.

“Wow,’’ she said after stroking his new cheek. “This is the face I grew up with.”

 

Click for more from The New York Post.