After a tragic accident and severe injuries, Joe DiMeo has received a new chance at a more normal life.
In August 2020 and at the age of 22, Joe DiMeo received the first successful face and double hand transplant in the world. He has eyes, significantly less scarring, and two functioning hands.
DiMeo was involved in a horrific car accident in 2018, where he suffered severe third-degree burns over 80% of his body. The accident, injuries, and recovery left him without eyes, a disfigured face, and many missing fingers.
Dr. Edwardo Rodriguez, and a team of 140 medical staff, completed the surgery lasting 23 hours. NYU Langone Health just recently tweeted the success of the surgery and recovery for Joe.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez—in collaboration with a team of over 140 staff—performed the world’s first successful face & double hand #transplant on Joe DiMeo, a 22-year-old man who suffered burns to 80% of his body after a car accident. More: https://t.co/TvikMhxPiU pic.twitter.com/RP27CIs6tj— NYU Langone Health (@nyulangone) February 3, 2021
The complicated surgery involved replacing "21 tendons, three major nerves, five major vessels and two major bones."
According to CNN, Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez described DiMeo as "the most highly motivated patient [he’s] ever met." He added, "There have been over a hundred hand transplants performed successfully, and close to 50 face transplants. So fundamentally there was no reason why they couldn’t occur together, successfully."
DiMeo shared about his new face, hands, and life. "There’s no excuse to not be motivated, or not to do my therapy. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel."
What do you think of his story? Share in the comments.