Face transplant approved for man disfigured by electric shock

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 12 at 1:34 PM

A jolt of electricity destroyed Dallas Wiens' face two years ago. He was making a repair at a church when he hit a high voltage line.

Doctors at Parkland Memorial Hospital's renowned burn center saved him.

Twenty-two surgeries gave him a new face fashioned from other parts of his body. It is more or less featureless, with indentations where his eyes had been located.

"Everything is a test; a test of your resolve," said the 25-year-old father of a little girl. "A test of your faith."

Now Wiens waits for his next test: Yet another surgery, but this time to give him someone else's face.

When News 8 spoke with him in January, Wiens made it clear that although he can no longer see, he is looking forward. "Everything they say I will not physically do, I will find some way to get my body in shape to do it," he pledged.

Wiens told The Dallas Morning News he is a little scared, waiting on that call from the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston to tell him his new face has been donated.

Meanwhile, he has started college, just as he told us he would. His grandmother said Wiens was in class Monday night.

And he hasn't given up on the hope that some day he'll once again see the face of his daughter, Scarlett.

"She's never cared that I'm disfigured," he said. "To her, I'm her daddy."

The Boston surgeon who approved Wiens for the face transplant is expected to reveal details on the experimental operation later this week.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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