21-year-old woman becomes youngest in USA to receive face transplant

At 21 Woman Is Youngest Ever to Undergo Face Transplant After Attempting Suicide as a Teen

"At 21 years old, Katie Stubblefield was the youngest person in the United States to receive a face transplant", read the page, which was set up by a family friend on Wednesday (Aug 14).

At an all-time low, a rash decision to kill herself changed Ms Stubblefield's life.

However, the skin grafts kept falling off, and doctors soon suggested the idea of a "face transplant" to her parents.

"I felt so guilty that I had put my family through such pain".

Now 22, she has shared her story and incredible photos of her transplant journey with National Geographic.

There is the chance of numerous complications, including that her body will reject the new face and it will have to be removed.

Katie Stubblefield is the youngest person ever to receive a full face transplant, after surviving a record-breaking 31 hour operation.

Three years after a gunshot wound to the face left her with severe facial trauma, a woman last year became the youngest recipient of a full-face transplant in the United States, and now hopes to use her story to offer hope to others.

It was after a wait for nearly a year of being on the transplant list, that Katie found her match.

"I had no clue what a face transplant was", Katie said.


Stubblefield will remain a lifelong subject in the study of a still experimental procedure. "Her face is gone", he told the magazine recalling the moment he found her sister. She hopes to speak to teenagers about suicide and the value of life.

Stubblefield was on the transplant list for over a year before a donor was found: Andrea Schneider, a 31-year-old woman and organ donor who had recently passed away was a match. She also received a forehead, upper and lower eyelids, eye sockets, a nose, a mouth, lips, cheeks, an upper jaw, part of a lower jaw, teeth and facial muscles. "When my parents helped explain everything to me, I was very excited to get a face again and to have function again".

He noted that when he first saw Katie's injury, he anxious that she might not live.

The surgery was performed at the Cleveland Clinic by 11 surgeons in OH in May. And she is speaking about her surgery to help warn of the lasting harms of suicide.

In her senior year, she had her appendix and her gallbladder taken out as she continued to battle with digestive issues.

In 2017, it was decided that Stubblefield would undergo a face transplant.

They took Katie to eat at restaurants despite the looks and comments she'd receive, spent time with her outside and celebrated her birthday.

One year later, Stubblefield is hoping to attend college and is considering a career in counseling.

Photographer Maggie Steber, who spent two-and-a-half years capturing Katie and her family on camera, said: 'They are warriors.

Globally, close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is about one person every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization.

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