Would you like to meet the person who wears your brother’s face?

Would you like to meet the person who wears your brother’s face?

Transplant recipient met the sister, whose brother gave him a new face after his death.

Transplant recipient met the sister, whose brother gave him a new face after his death.

Three years ago citizen of Virginia got the possibility for the entire transformation of his life. A new face was given to Richard Norris as well as the possibility to live a full life after the dreadful fatal gunshot injury from his past.

Now the sister of the man who donated his face to Norris is to meet him for the first time.
This emotional coming face-to-face was filmed for 60 Minutes Australia. At the very beginning of their encounter Rebekah Aversano asks Norris to let her touch his face and when he replies with agreement the woman lightly raises her hand, touches his forehead and says:

Wow.. This is the face that i grew up with…

The moment a woman touches her dead brother's face - on a stranger

The moment a woman touches her dead brother’s face – on a stranger

The face of 21-year-old Joshua Aversano was donated for transplantation by his family after a traffic accident caused his death. In March 2012 the pioneering surgery took place, giving then 37-year-old Norris a chance for living an ordinary life.

In 1997 a horrifying gunshot left Norris without upper and lower jaws, lips and nose as well. In addition to that he was able to breath only with a trachea tube.
The surgery lasted 36 hours. His entire face was replaced, including both jaws, tongue, skin, underlying nerve and muscle tissue as well as the whole set of teeth, by the team of specialists at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The doctors called that procedure the most extensive of its kind.

After the surgery Norris said that his life became dramatically different as he was able to stop hiding behind the surgical mask and do his shopping under the daylight, when previously he was doing it only at night.

Richard Norris was deeply thankful to all those people who participated in giving him a new face and a new life.

Thank you, Joshua. We will always be grateful to you and your family for this gift of life.

– said Norris.

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