File this under “So You Think You Got Problems?”: Last week 25 year old Fort Worth resident Dallas Wiens received the country’s first full face transplant at a Boston hospital. You may remember that he suffered severe head burns in 2008 when he accidentally brushed a power line while painting a local church. Doctors are hopeful he will be able to smell and feel touch on his new face, although he’ll still be blind.
I don’t want to turn Wiens into a paper saint, as the media tends to do in such cases. He’s had to have experienced some bleak, bleak hours, and I can’t imagine what those were like. But at some point he decided to put on his cap, learn to use a walking stick, and venture out into a world that would not necessarily receive his appearance in a compassionate way. Congratulations on the operation and best wishes, Mr. Wiens – your bravery is inspiring.