Donation in the News: UMMC Completes Most Extensive Full Face Transplant to Date

Richard Norris from his senior prom, after his gun accident and several reconstructive surgeries, and after his recent face transplant. (Photos: UMMC)

If you have been following the news the past few weeks, you have probably seen quite a bit of media attention surrounding University of Maryland Medical Center’s first face transplant, which was performed last week.

The Living Legacy Foundation is proud to be a part of such an incredible procedure, but even more so, we are humbled by the donor and their family who made it possible. We are touched every day by the generosity and kindness shown by all organ, eye and tissue donors and their families, and we’d like to take this time to bring attention not only to this amazing new lease on life Richard Lee Norris, the recipient, has, but also to the legacy left by his donor, and by all donors who so selflessly gift the gift of life.

The news of UMMC’s first facial transplant has brought up many questions about donation, including the question of what a donor designation (a heart on your driver’s license or signing up on the online Maryland Donor Registry) gives permission to use for transplant. It is important to know drivers who check “organ donor” on their driver’s license, or those who sign up as donors through the online donor registry, do not automatically consent to face transplants. A family must give special permission for anything outside of the common transplantable organs or tissues (see below). Only families whose loved one meets a unique medical criteria would even be presented with the opportunity to donate such a gift

Transplantable organs and tissues include:
heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, small intestine, corneas, skin, bone, veins, connective tissues (ligaments, tendons, cartilage) and heart valves

For more information about University of Maryland Medical Center’s Face Transplant:

UMMC’s Face Transplant Website
UMMC’s Face Transplant Photo Gallery
Virginia man receives face transplant at Maryland Shock Trauma
Face Transplant Patient Recovering Well, Regains Sense of Smell After Surgery


About Lauren

Lauren Muskauski is the communications associate at The Living Legacy Foundation. She heads up many community outreach initiatives and projects, with a focus on middle school, high school and college outreach. She also manages The LLF’s and Donate Life Maryland’s presence on social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. Lauren’s commitment to donation started early when she registered as an organ, eye and tissue donor at the MVA upon receiving her first drivers’ license, but was then reinforced a few years later when her father passed away while waiting for a liver transplant. Now, she continues to be inspired on a daily basis by the generosity of donors and their families, as well as the gratitude exhibited by every recipient she meets.
This entry was posted in Donor Families, Organ Donation News, Transplant Hospitals. Bookmark the permalink.

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