A few days ago the news of the success of a facial transplant was very well known to the youngest patient in the United States, also because of the amazing life history of the patient. Now we know that a Colombian surgeon has participated in that operation.
Eleven surgeons worked more than 31 hours to give Katie Stubblefield a new chance. One of these surgeons was Steven Rueda, born in Bogotá in 1987, "who claims that this operation taught him more about life than about drugs," CNN said.
Katie was only 18 years old when she made a suicide attempt that would change her life forever. She put the barrel of her 38-caliber shotgun of her brother under her chin and squeezed the trigger; He survived the attempt, but the violent act mutilated his face.
The severity of Katie's wounds led to dozens of operations, but the only real option to restore basic functions such as chewing, breathing, and swallowing was to perform a facial transplant.
Dr. Rueda was there when Katie arrived at the Cleveland Clinic, the institution that performed the transplant.
"To place the context, the state in which Katie arrived at the Cleveland Clinic must be based on what the referring hospital said, which deals with severe trauma, and classifies it as the worst facial trauma they had seen in that institution's history. , "Rueda told CNN and Español.
In the first instance, the priority was to save Katie & # 39; s life. The bullet pierced his mouth and nasal cavity and came out of his skull between his eyebrows. He also suffered from a traumatic brain injury with damage to the frontal lobe, optic nerve and pituitary gland. His condition was very serious.
Three years later, Katia was ready to undergo facial transplant surgery, although she still did not know.
When they suggested to the family that a facial transplant might be the solution, they said they felt overwhelmed.
"There was an older trauma surgeon who actually told us:" It's the worst wound I've seen in its kind ", and he said:" The only thing I can think of is that Functional life could be a facial transplant, "he remembered Katie's father, Robb." I stood there thinking: "What do you mean by transplantation?" he said.
In the world, only about 40 face transplants have been performed, Rueda said, and it is considered an experimental procedure of very high complexity.
Katie underwent a complete facial transplant, the first to do that clinic.
The performed procedure included transplantation of the scalp, forehead, upper and lower eyelids, eye sockets, nose, upper cheeks, upper jaw and lower jaw, upper teeth, lower teeth, nerves. Partial facials, facial muscles and skin that effectively replace 100 percent of your facial tissue, according to a Cleveland Clinic press release.
Dr. Rueda very special emotions.
"It's really something spectacular to be part of this team that took care of Katie, and I believe doctors are going to use drugs because we feel that feeling of gratitude every time we help patients get through difficulties, and I believe it's should never be something of his own ego, it's because of the joy you really have to see how the patient's life changed, "he told CNN.
Katie Stubblefield was an inspiration for Rueda
"To see these patients that the fact that they have another day to live and to eat with their families, with their friends, is worth the gold, and they feel it that way, it reminds of the valuable and the happy that was one with life, which is the greatest morality that these patients leave to each other, "he says.
Steven Rueda worked at the Cleveland Clinic surgery department, where he spent most of his training as a plastic surgeon, after graduating as a physician at the University of Miami.
By The Epoch Times