A devastating shock; a remarkable recovery

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by TINA FOSTER / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on December 27, 2009 at 11:10 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 30 at 12:50 AM

FORT WORTH — A single second changed the life of 24-year-old Dallas Wiens. He was doing repairs at a church in Fort Worth in November, 2008  when he was suffered a devastating electrical shock.

Wiens' entire face and scalp were burned to the bone.

He was rushed to the Parkland Memorial Hospital Burn Unit in Dallas. No one expected that he would survive.

He did, and Wiens credits Parkland doctors with saving his life.

"When he came in, I don't think you'd find a single person who would think that Dallas would be around to talk to you," said Dr. Jeffrey Janis, part of the team that treated Wiens.

Both of his eyes were burned shut and his nose was completely gone.

Wiens has since undergone 22 surgeries, but when speaking to him, it's not the scars you see, but the witty humor of a man on a mission.

"Everything is a test — a test of your resolve, a test of your faith," he said.

Wiens is walking, talking and eating solid foods, something doctors said might never happen. But for Wiens, those warnings served as motivation.

"Everything they say I will not physically do, I will find some way to get my body in shape enough to go do it," he resolved.

Wiens is a busy man. He's a father, and will soon be a student. He's going back to college.

Wiens hopes to get a face transplant one day, perhaps even a procedure that can restore his vision.

And that's the reason he's going public with his story. Wiens has launched a foundation called About Face. Its mission is to raise money for his face transplant and to help other burn victims.

Wiens says his accident has taught him to "take joy in all the small things in life."

Wiens has started his own foundation called "About Face" to fund help for himself and other burn survivors. Donations can be made under "Dallas About Face" at any Wells Fargo Bank.

E-mail tfoster@wfaa.com

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