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Soldier Gets Full Face Transplant At Brigham And Women’s

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Dr. Donald Annino, Jr. with Mark Hunter prior to surgery. (Photo courtesy: Lightchaser Photography/BWH)

Dr. Donald Annino, Jr. with Mark Hunter prior to surgery. (Photo courtesy: Lightchaser Photography/BWH)

CBS Boston (con't)

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BOSTON (CBS) – Surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have given a soldier from Indiana a new face.

30-year-old Army Private Mitch Hunter of Indianapolis was left severely disfigured after saving a woman’s life during a car accident ten years ago. He pushed a live wire off her and suffered a severe shock. It left him with a severely scarred face, a prosthetic nose and leg.

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soldier1 Soldier Gets Full Face Transplant At Brigham And Women’s

Army Private Mitch Hunter before his accident.

A team of more than 30 physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists and residents worked for more than 14 hours to replace Hunter’s face last week.

The hospital made the first public announcement about the surgery Tuesday morning.

“I am very grateful to the entire transplant team for working so well together, ensuring that Mitch’s procedure went smoothly and putting him on course for a successful recovery and new life,” lead surgeon Dr. Bohdan Pomahac said in a statement.

The donor family wants to remain anonymous, but they did issue a statement through the hospital.

“We are very proud that our beloved son’s wishes were to donate his organs and tissue, helping as many people as possible. We are honored to respect his wishes. When we heard that there was a match for his facial tissue, we were overwhelmed and did not hesitate to say yes. We are so very happy that the transplant is progressing well. It is a gift to us to know that another young man’s life could be so positively changed because of our son’s giving spirit. Though we grieve our loss, we are also joyful that his passing has made this miracle possible.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports.

This is the third face transplant performed at the Brigham and the fourth in the country.

Brigham and Women’s is one of only two hospitals in the nation approved to perform the procedure.

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