BOSTON (CBS) -Brigham and Women’s Hospital has given approval for a former soldier to receive a face transplant.

Army Private Mitch Hunter before his accident.

Army Private Mitch Hunter of Indianapolis was left severely disfigured after saving a woman’s life during a car accident ten years ago. Hunter pushed a live wire off the woman.

Hunter now lives with a severely scarred face, a prosthetic nose and leg.

He was evaluated at Brigham and Women’s and deemed a valid face transplant candidate. Now he waits for a donor.

“That kind of does make me feel bad,” Hunter acknowledged. “I don’t want to have to wait for someone to pass away.”

So far, there have been three face transplants performed in the United States, one of them at Brigham and Women’s. It is one of only two hospitals in the country approved to perform the procedures.

Comments (54)
  1. lieutdan's aunt says:

    best of luck to you mitch hunter. your rank may be pvt, but you are truly an officer and gentleman! saving that woman and putting yourself at risk is nothing short of heroic. i hope your prayers are answered soon, and the next phase of your recovery. welcome to new england where the concept of patriots/patriotism is older than a local football team. consider yourself, one of us.

  2. Cynic says:

    I hope the Military considers his injuries in the line of duty.

    1. Valerie says:

      @cynic: It can’t be a LOD accident — he had already been discharged in 2001 when the accident happened.

      1. suesse says:

        what difference does it make. i am sure if you were the one he did save would you still care if he was a civillian or a soldier?
        with or without uniform the man is a hero.

  3. lily says:

    Transplant or no transplant, Mitch, I am looking at the face of a HERO! All my hopes go out to you!

  4. Willette Balsamo says:

    You are awesome and a handsome man whether you have a face transplant or not. Beauty comes from within and from unfelfish acts. best of luck to you and I am very proud of you!
    CPT Willette Balsamo
    Army Nurse Walter Reed

  5. Paula Adams says:

    “That kind of does make me feel bad,” Hunter acknowledged. “I don’t want to have to wait for someone to pass away.”
    Even his comments shows him to be someone who cares about others. God bless you. America is praying for your speedy recovery. We do care. Paula Faith Birmingham, AL

  6. Alice Boyd, Jacksonville, FL says:

    May GOD bless you and watch over you. You are truly a hero.

  7. David Bourne says:

    The world needs more people like you who are brave enough to help others and then stand strong in the face of your own challenges. Thank you for sharing your story and we wish you all the best – you deserve it.

  8. Shawn, Buffalo, NY says:

    Is there a fund I can donate to for his surgery?

    1. Allison says:

      What a beautiful and thoughtful consideration. I bet that you could contact the hospital where his surgery will eventually be performed to find out how to contribute!

  9. John Robertson says:

    You are a real Hero. I would like to wish you all the best. I am also proud of you and all of our women and men in the military. God Bless!

    John Robertson
    CWO4 (Ret), U.S. Navy
    Wellington New Zealand

  10. Jack Pollock says:

    What a cool dude! I agree, Uncle Sam should step up and take care of this hero!

  11. Gilles LeBlanc says:

    Your absolutly amazing, a story like that has got to get you a date. If something happened to me I would gladly give you my face. Keep it real buddy, everything will be back to normal before you know it.


    Gilles LeBlanc, 25 , Canadian

  12. Mariela says:

    Wow!! I think I Love You:)
    You are a hero!!

  13. Harry says:

    I salute you, sir. Good luck in all of your endeavors.

  14. Rebecca says:

    You are a beautiful man with or without a new face. Thank you for your service and your courage!

  15. Mike says:

    Who’s paying and what is the cost? Sorry, had to ask. We are $14 TRILLION in debt.

    1. Valerie says:

      @Mike: If you had bothered to really read the article, they are holding fund raisers and he is raising the money — and as for the cost — since you won’t be paying, it’s NOYDB!!!!!

    2. Alison says:

      Mike, did YOU serve for the rest of us? Methinks NOT…… As a taxpayer, I have NO ISSUE with helping to pay the cost of this ANGEL’s surgery.

      BTW, YOU could learn a LOT from Mitch!

      Mitch, you are already HANDSOME just the way you are! HUGS and GOD BLESS YOU~

  16. David says:

    Every one should pray for this guy, and never quit praying for him. Mitch you are in my prayers..

  17. Linda says:

    I am so proud of you and agree you are a hero!!!!!!!!!!! God Bless you, the woman you saved and the doctors and nurses that will take care of you.

  18. Donna says:

    You are truly beautiful and an inspiration to us all. Thank you for your service; thank you for your heart. When you save one life, it is as if you saved the world.
    May you receive many blessings and abundance of all you need. You will be in my prayers.

  19. Sue says:

    Best wishes, Mitch – you are a beautiful American hero through and through. God Bless You!

  20. brandon says:

    Wow Mitch you did something good but sorry to hear that accident that happened, best wishes, American hero!!!

  21. Matt says:

    You are a soldier, on and off the battlefied, @Mike and for you, you are a piece of trash! I am a Sgt. currrently in Afghanistan, and this shows the values of a true soldier, and it doesn’t matter if he was discharged or not i would expect the same amount of heroism from my soldiers. I hope everything works out, and may God be with you.

  22. major says:

    good luck soldier

  23. Tina says:

    Mitch, I want you to know that after you eventually die, Christ will resurrect you and you will have your original face and body back– young and eternal. This is one of the two greatest gifts the Savior gives to us (the other one being the Atonement wherein he cleanses us from our sins if we choose to repent). I am happy for your transplant, but wanted you to know that something even greater will occur in the future.

  24. RDG says:

    Proud of you… and the donor would be too. But honestly, your heart shines through… just by your words alone (not to mention your heroic actions!). Any woman would be lucky to have a man like you in her life.

  25. Eric says:

    i’m a 32 y/o male and thinking about what this young man did brings tears to my eyes. WHAT CAN I DO FOR THIS HEROIC YOUNG MAN?

  26. Jay says:

    Is there a bank fund anywhere?

  27. TexasRN says:

    People like this are why I’m an organ donor. If I should be unfortunate enough to die, I would want my death to be a gift to someone like Mitch. God Bless You, Soldier! Know that those of us who give do so from the heart. Don’t ever feel guilty for being blessed with that second chance – instead, cherish it and live the rest of your life to the fullest. That’s the best way to honor your donor.

  28. Mitch Hunter Welcome home!! says:

    Dear Mitch,
    Thank you for trying to help defend our country. Glad your alive, in the future you will (age of technology)
    look good again Im sure. Dont think about anything else but getting well.
    It would be great if the world was at peace and no one had to get hurt.
    Its sad that you had to get injuried but your a real hero to many.
    Hope life treats you better everyday. Thanks for risking so much for us all.

  29. Michael says:

    Just like Eric’s comment, reading this story of the brave soldier who went above and beyond the call of duty, brings me, a 44 year old man, to tears. Pvt. Mitch Hunter has lived one of the recruiting slogans of the U.S. Army(Be All You Can Be). Beauty within is what really counts. I hope everything goes well for Pvt. Hunter when he does have the surgery, whenever it may be. I hope the city of Indianapolis, where I assume his heroic act took place, along with the Indianapolis mayor, award him for his selfless act.

  30. LEB says:

    Please don’t feel bad, Pvt Mitch. Your injuries were sustained doing something noble. You saved someone’s life, and I’m sure that whoever becomes your donor would be at peace knowing that their death would help such an honorable young man. Your actions were selfless and good, just like being an organ donor is selfless and good. You are more than deserving.

  31. Jordan says:

    PVT Hunter,

    You have shown true courage to put your life at risk for someone else. I truly hope Unlce Sam picks up the tab. You are a credit to the service, mankind and yourself as a human being. If the world had more people like you it would be a lot better place. Recover fast and best of luck.

    To WBZ, update us as to a fund raising account for this young man. We need to do something for him.

  32. Chuck says:

    Mitch you are a true here and a good person. We need more people like you in this world who put others before themselves. Our children need to stop looking up to the people they” think” are role models. May you be blessed with a great life. Thank you for your service to our country!

    1. Chuck says:

      true hero that is

  33. Colin Barr says:

    Seems they have the facts alittle twisted and confused, but still a good story.
    The crash happened in 2001, putting him in contact with a live electrical line.
    “I was struck with 10,000 volts, seven amps for like five minutes,” he said.
    Hunter underwent 57 surgeries to his face.

    He had auctions and is raising money for a move for his family to Boston and such other articles said.

    Here is his facebook page from another news article….

  34. Mandy K says:

    You are a true example of John 15:13… Greater love hath no man than he give up his life for that of another. You are a true hero! You exemplify what America really stands for.

    Good luck with your transplant, although to me, you already have the face of an Angel. !!!

  35. Cheryl Huesken says:

    great story, what a wonderful man. made me giggle when he said that he felt bad that someone had to die for him to get a transplant….what a special human being!!!

  36. Dignfly says:

    Not only is Mitch a true Hero in every sense of the word, I am proud to read all of these comments. It stirs a sense of comfort that besides Mitch, there are a lot of good people in the world. God speed, Mitch…and a big thank you to all who cared enough to post here.

  37. Carol says:

    This is so wonderful I don’t have the words this would have never happened if he didn’t go to war for all of us and that is a fact.

    I am overwhelmed that this happening to such a wonderful boy,

  38. Mitch Hunter says:

    Thank you all for your kind words, it really means a lot to me. I will continue to keep everyone updated on the progress through my facebook account. Again, thank you all. This world is full of amazing people with amazing souls!!

  39. Mitch Hunter says:

    Thank you all for your kind words, I means a lot to me knowing so many people around the US care! I will continue to give updates as I receive them. Hope everyone has a wonder week.

  40. Don Plus Vanessa says:

    You are a true hero! It is people like you that show me how great people can really be. Now if we could hook you up with an eight year old 80 pound German Shepard that served two tours in Iraq. Bosco is now scheduled to be turned over to researchers to be experimented on. This dog would be such a great companion for you. I found out about this dog because one of my “Likes” is “I love someone in the military.” I have a daughter in Iraq. This would be such a great event if the two of you got together. Good luck in your future ventures. You are to be admired and thank you for being such a hero.

  41. Yuki says:

    You are truly a hero, Hunter. May God bless you and hope you will recover soon. We love you!

  42. Domino says:

    We love you Mitch! God Bless

  43. Ngawang Dolma Zidatsang says:

    We love you Mitch! Even god can not show how thankful he is to you.

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