The person who was subjected to a terrific facial transplant operation at the beginning of this year, today uncovered his new self.
Cameron Underwood, 26, from California, fought depression and alcohol abuse, as a result of which he tried to take his life in June 2016.
The suicide attempt destroyed most of his face, but miraculously he survived.
Cameron lacked most of his lower jaw, each tooth, but one – his nose, and suffered serious damage to his thigh region and the palate.
Earlier, welder and driver Cameron tried to perform a number of reconstructive operations before having discovered Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez at New York University at Langone Health in New York.
His mother, Beverly Bailey-Potter, said she had read the People Magazine article on the NYU face transplant program and decided to take some questions about her son.
"When we read about what Dr. Rodriguez had done to his other patients, we knew that he was the only person to whom we would trust Cameron," Beverly said.
"We wanted to travel a long way."
Now, almost 11 months after 25 hours of operation, Cameron is working to live the life that he once knew when he was outdoors, playing sports and spending time with friends and family.
"I'm so grateful for face transplantation, because it gives me a second chance in life," he said.
"Although I am still recovering and recovering my senses and mobility, mostly with my lips, I am still very satisfied with the results,
"I have a nose and mouth so I can smile, talk and eat solid foods again."
Cameron said it was "breathtaking" for the first time he saw his new face, adding: "It was amazing with excitement."
According to Dr Rodriguez, when he first met with Cameron, he was convinced that he could help him recover his quality of life.
"For all of us, it's really remarkable to be part of it and make it happen," he said.
"There's no way we could return to normal life without face transplant."
Rodriguez led more than 100 medical team members to complete the operation that began on January 5th.
It required a 3D computer's surgical planning and a 3D face mask for a donor face, a new approach to the medical team.
The procedure involved the transplantation and reconstruction of the upper and lower jaw bones, including all 32 teeth and gums, oral cavity, lower eyelids and cheeks, nose and nose parts.
Cameron's donor was a 23-year-old wanted writer and director William Fisher from New York.
Williams struggled with mental illness for several years before his death.
His mother Sally said in a statement: "My son's death was a tragedy.
"I am grateful that, while honoring our decision, we were able to live for others."
William, who was registered as an organ donor in adolescence, was identified as an Underwood donor the day before a life-changing operation.
Today, Cameron thanked Rodriguez, NYU Langone Health, for his family, and William and Fisher's family.
"I will always honor the Will inheritance," he said.
– If you or someone you know needs help, please contact LifePanel 13-11-14. For help with depression issues, see the Beyond Blue list for a list of organizations that can help.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and was re-published here with permission.