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