Mayo Clinic’s First Face Transplant: The Patient



I joined through some rough times and

you know I've made I made the wrong


depression was definitely on on the list

I was like I say that I just do well on

that night

got the gun I was closeted I'll remember

just talking one in the chamber and

looking down the barrel of the gun and I

had to set off hold the trigger only

thing I got to see was him coming out of

mergency room with his head size with

just dogs drive not real get with the

straw coming out to breathe him that was

devastating it really was

a miracle at the same time because he

survived life-changing for sure and II

Sandnes was just 21 once his condition

stabilized his parents brought in de

Mayo Clinic to try to salvage the best

quality of life possible under the

circumstances in our patient's case

there's no no teeth missing a lot of the

jaw upper and lower jaw so we had

multiple surgeries to restore his face

to a acceptable level but acceptable was

a relative term according to the Mayo

Clinic plastic surgeon dr. Samir Medina

and his nose was gone his cheekbone

shattered his injuries affected how he

breathed and the simple task of meeting

you know what oh my name is wrong choice

and now I'm paying for the rest of my

life always a hard worker and II threw

himself into staying busy in Wyoming's

oil industry he says if you prove

yourself in the field or the shop folks

don't judge so Andy's work studies and

friends still saw him as one of the guy

doing what the patient we do just look

at the eyes you look at that soul you

know he's got a good one and lodge

owners Twila and Larry Napolitano have

known Andy since he was a boy


I remember that clearly stated boxes of

old photos document the simpler day

Savannah's childhood may reflect

I got a diaper I was halfway down around

my ankles I'm going to be three years

old I'm being Christmas in 1988 this is

me prom right before prom

that's my mom and that's in our house in

New Castle he could get straight A's and

never bring a book home

everyone loves Andy everyone everyone's

working for him his personality just

overtakes him he's just a really neat

guy still social interactions have been

a challenge in dating nearly impossible

the guys have settled down and have the

licenses you know because I imagine it's

not easy to be to walk through a mall

and have people staring at ya I

personally wouldn't like it there oh my

god mom look at him you know what they

didn't get to take knows and all this

couple what happened to him and stuff I

guess I just tried it I tend to avoid

those situations

which makes it easy to understand why

the high country of Wyoming had become

one of Andy's favorite escapes you know

I don't have a lot when I was a kid my

dad always glass entrepreneurs looking

for finish time you know I know where

you're hiding on this get away from

people yes

given the opportunity Andy gladly chose

to come in from the cold so to speak and

rejoin the life his injuries had forced

him to leave behind oh yeah excited

happy to Amaris after years of waiting

Andy and a team of medical specialists

were ready to begin more than 50 hours

of incredibly complicated surgery at the

Mayo Clinic East some of the Lalo bait

Center for reconstructive transplant

surgery the center's first face

transplant none of its possible and has

Mayo Clinic and everything that they've

done from the time that I showed up in

2006 and till the time apparent now

it'll help him commend this tremendous

it's like getting a second chance in