World’s first whole-eye and partial face transplant performed in the US - Hindustan Times
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World’s first whole-eye and partial face transplant performed in the United States

ByAdarsh Kumar Gupta
Nov 10, 2023 07:34 PM IST

Aaron James' face had accidentally come into contact with a live wire, leading to 7200-volt electric shock and causing him serious injuries.

Surgeons from NYU Langone Health in New York City, have recently performed a miraculous operation on a man named Aaron James to transplant a whole left eye and socket and a partial face. The surgery is making waves in the medical world as it is the world’s first successful whole-eye transplant.

Surgeons from NYU Langone Health have performed a miraculous operation on a man named Aaron James to transplant a whole left eye and socket and a partial face. (X(formerly Twitter)/@nyulangone)
Surgeons from NYU Langone Health have performed a miraculous operation on a man named Aaron James to transplant a whole left eye and socket and a partial face. (X(formerly Twitter)/@nyulangone)

Aaron who worked as a high-voltage power lineman had suffered a serious accident in 2021. While working his face accidentally came into contact with a live wire, leading to 7200-volt electric shock. As a result, Aaron suffered serious injuries to his left eye, his entire nose and lips, his left cheek area and chin, and his left arm.

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Official account of NYU Langone Health took to X(formerly Twitter) and shared details about the surgery which has given a new hope of life to the man.

"Aaron James, who survived a 7,200-volt electric shock while working as a lineman in June 2021, recently received the world’s first whole-eye and partial face transplant at NYU Langone Health, providing him a new sense of normalcy," they wrote.

Aaron's wife Meagan James shared the tremendous joy she felt after the 21-hour operation became successful.

“It was a crazy, great, weird, strange, ecstatic, happy feeling. I was just happy he made it through, and everything was good in the moment,” said Meagan as quoted by CNN.

Although Aaron's vision in the left eye has not been restored, he is very optimistic about being able to see out of the eye on the basis of assurances from his medical team.

“That’s really my biggest hope. If I can see out of it, that’s great. But if it’ll kick-start the next path in the medical field, then I’m all for it,” said Aaron.

How bad was Aaron's condition before the surgery

Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, director of the Face Transplant Program at NYU Langone Health has shared how Aaron was in a life-threatening situation and how doctors were unsure about his survival.

“To see him walking when he was completely down for the count in the hospital — multiorgan system failure, breathing tube, is he going to make it, is he going to have neurological injury — to see him without any of those sequelae, it’s very impressive,” said Rodriguez as quoted by CNN.

"It’s a testament to modern medicine. It’s a testament to this patient and his family. And it’s also a testament that, in these cases, there’s some celestial involvement where it wasn’t his time to go,” he added.

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