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After laying in a hospital for two months without a face, Jerome Hamon is getting used to his new look. The 43-year-old, who suffers from a genetic mutation which causes disfiguring tumors and complications, underwent his second face transplant nearly four months ago at a hospital in Paris.
“While he was waiting he never complained, he was even in a good mood,” Bernard Cholley, an anesthetist at Georges-Pompidou European Hospital, where Hamon remains hospitalized, told the Telegraph.
He first underwent a face transplant to treat the tumors caused by neurofibromatosis type 1 in 2010, but in 2016 his body started rejecting it and his face deteriorated, according to the Telegraph. Doctors were forced to remove the face in November 2017, leaving him without a face for two months. While he waited for news of a compatible donor, he was unable to hear, speak or see, BBC News reported.
In January, news of a 22-year-old donor reached the hospital, setting up the possibility of a second transplant for Hamon. Dr. Laurent Lantieri, who performed the first transplant surgery, also conducted the second. Hamon was given three months of blood treatment prior to the surgery to help reduce any risk of rejection, the Telegraph reported.
“The first transplant I accepted immediately,” Hamon told the news outlet. “I thought ‘this is my new face’ and this time, it’s the same. If I hadn’t accepted this new face it would have been terrible. It’s a question of identity… But here we are, it’s good, it’s me.”