Second Person in World to Receive Face Transplant Dies

A Chinese farmer who received a partial face transplant in 2006 has died, Chinese state-run media reported Sunday.

Li Guoxing was 30 years old when he became the second person in the world to undergo a face transplant on April 14, 2006. The surgery was performed free of charge at the Xijing Hospital in the central Chinese city of Xi'an. A team of 15 doctors and three nurses gave him a new cheek, upper lip, nose and eyebrow from a single male donor, in an operation that lasted 14 hours.

Click here for photos of Li Guoxing.

The cause of death for Li, who is now 32, is unknown. The Earth Times reported Sunday that Li had refused recently to continue taking drugs to suppress his immune system.

Li lost almost the whole right side of his face in 2003 after a black bear mauled him when he tried to chase it away from his cows with a stick.

Last week, the Cleveland Clinic announced it had performed the United States' first "almost" full face transplant. Click here to read more on the Cleveland Clinic surgery.

Click here to read more on Li Guoxing at The Earth Times.