He is the first person to receive a two face transplants
Jerome Hamon underwent the world’s first full face transplant, including tear ducts and eyelids, in a procedure at a hospital outside Paris in July 2010.
But the same year – in order to treat nothing more than a common cold – he was given an antibiotic incompatible with his immunosuppressive treatment.
In 2016, he began to display signs of transplant rejection, and his new face deteriorated. By November last year, the 43-year-old’s face, suffering from necrosis, had to be removed.
Jerome Hamon, who suffers from a genetic mutation which causes severely disfiguring tumours, remained in hospital without a face for two months before a compatible donor was found and a successful second transplant carried out.
Still recovering in hospital three months after his latest operation, he says he has quickly accepted his new identity.
His new face remains smooth and motionless, with his skull, skin and features yet to be fully aligned, a gradual process reliant on immunosuppressant drugs which, it is hoped, will prevent his body rejecting the transplanted material.
‘I feel very well in myself,’ he told reporters last week as he continues his recovery from the surgery which was carried out on January 15 and 16.
‘I can’t wait to get rid of all this,’ he adds, speaking with difficulty of all the major treatment he has undergone to become the first man to have received two face transplants.
This unprecedented feat was painstakingly carried out by the staff at the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital in Paris, and Laurent Lantieri, a professor of plastic surgery, who led the team through the multi-step procedure.