December 8, 2005 in Nation/World

Transplant recipient ‘well’

Associated Press
 

PARIS – The French woman who received the world’s first partial face transplant told a newspaper Wednesday she was doing “very well,” but she asked that the media leave her alone while she recuperates.

In a brief interview with Le Parisien newspaper, the 38-year-old woman said she felt “bombarded” with media requests.

The woman underwent a groundbreaking operation last month in which doctors grafted a nose, chin and lips from a brain-dead donor onto her face. The woman was disfigured when her dog attacked her in May.

“I’m doing very well,” she told Le Parisien, which said it spoke to her by telephone at her hospital in Lyon, where the operation was conducted.

The woman’s identity has not been disclosed publicly.

“I would like to say one thing: I’ve just been operated on. It’s beneficial for me to live these moments in peace,” she said. “At the moment, I feel bombarded.”

“I also want my family to be left out of this,” she said. “They didn’t ask to be put on a stage.”

Transplant surgeon Jean-Michel Dubernard said his patient was eating with no problem and can talk more clearly than before the surgery, though her speech is still not perfect.

“The transplant looks absolutely normal, and she is very happy on a psychological level, because she thinks she looks much better than before her operation,” Dubernard told RTL radio.

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