The Mississippi firefighter who underwent the world’s most extensive face transplant surgery one year ago now feels as though he has been “given his life back.”
Patrick Hardison, a father-of-five, suffered sever, disfiguring burns on his face during an accident.
A team of over 100 doctors, nurses and technical assistants at New York University Langone Medical Center gave Hardison a new face donated by the family of 26-year-old Ohio native David Rodebaugh, who died when he fell off his bike.
The 42-year-old can now do many of the things the rest of us take for granted, like going for a swim in a pool – something he had been unable to do for the past 15 years.
“I’m pretty much back to being a normal guy, doing normal activities,” Hardison said at a news conference Wednesday.
When asked what his biggest challenge is day to day, Hardison joked, “Well, I’ve got five kids.”
“My life is great right now. I’m happy, and my kids are all healthy, so what more could you ask for?” he added.
“We have entered a new era in transplant surgery,” said Eduardo D. Rodriguez, the surgeon who led Hardison’s team. “The work being done … is pushing the boundaries of medicine and surgery and opening up new avenues to restore the lives of people like Patrick. It’s a very exciting time.”
Hardison now looks forward to meeting Rodebaugh’s mother “when she’s ready.”
“She gave me a gift, and there is no way I could ever thank her enough,” he said.
The firefighter also hopes to share his story with other first responders who have suffered similar injuries. According to Breaking 911, he said he understands why so many of them commit suicide.
Share Patrick Hardison’s remarkable story if you are glad to see has made such an incredible turn-around!