21 year old girl turns youngest to receive face transplant

Woman, 21, Gets Full Face Transplant After Shooting Face Off In Suicide Attempt — Pics

Woman, 21, Gets Full Face Transplant After Shooting Face Off In Suicide Attempt — Pics

That was before Katie, at 21, became the youngest person in the United States to receive a face transplant.

A photograph of Stubblefield, taken after her injury and before the transplant, appears on the cover of National Geographic's September issue. That patient, Connie Culp, underwent a 22-hour transplant surgery at Cleveland Clinic and debuted her new face in 2009.

Though she is literally using Schneider's face, Stubblefield will reportedly not look like her, since the face will mold to her bone structure as it heals.

When her brother found her, he told the magazine: 'Her face was gone'.

"I'm definitely taking many, many daily steps", she said of the recovery process.

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Ms Schneider had a hard life, born with drugs in her system to a drug addicted mother who died when she was only 13-years-old. She rarely went out in public except to see doctors. "Forget the face transplant; we're talking about just being alive".

"There was an older trauma surgeon who basically told us, 'It's the worst wound that I've ever seen of its kind, ' and he said, 'The only thing I can think of that would really give her functional life again is a face transplant, ' " Robb said.

"I felt so guilty that I had put my family through such pain".

She was taken to hospital and endured two years worth of operations, undergoing several procedures to fix her bone structure, including her nose, nasal passage and her jaw before receiving her new face from donor Adrea Schneider, 31, who died after a drug overdose.

Ms Stubblefield was on the transplant list for over a year before a donor was found: Andrea Schneider, a 31-year-old organ donor who had recently passed away, was a match.

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Specialists at the Cleveland Clinic in OH transplanted the scalp, forehead, eyelids and nose as well as parts of her cheeks, jaw, muscle, teeth and more, the hospital explained in a report, "effectively replacing 100% of the patient's facial tissue".

'And now Katie has a mission in her life. In the time since receiving her full-face transplant - joining the ranks of fewer than 25 such recipients worldwide - at the Cleveland Clinic, Katie has undergone three major revision surgeries and has been hard at work with physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

While Katie's medical care team hopes that her surgery can advance the field of face transplantation, there are many other hopes for her future.

"I am forever grateful for the care this hospital has given me and continues to offer on my journey of recovery and healing", Stubblefield said in a statement past year from the clinic. She said she now wants to help people by speaking about suicide prevention. Permission required for reproduction.

"So many people have helped me".

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She said she hopes her story will raise awareness to the potential consequences of suicide, helping other young men and women like her to value life and avoid doing what she did to herself.

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