Meredith Land, NBC 5 News
The nation's first full-face transplant recipient is doing well and says he "feels fantastic."
Dallas Wiens, the nation's first full-face transplant recipient, crossed another milestone almost five months after the transplant surgery.
Doctors at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston fitted the Fort Worth father for new acrylic blue eyes last week.
"I like them," Wiens said.
Wiens is blind. After his face transplant surgery in March, doctors sewed his eyelids shut.
"I did not have blue eyes before, but how often do you get to choose the color of your eyes?" he said.
Wiens looks healthy. He has put on weight in the five months since the radical surgery. Doctors say he is reaching all of the milestones.
He has gained sensation in his face and can move more than 60 percent of his face. His facial hair is growing naturally, and he is breathing through his nose.
"I feel normal. I feel fantastic," he said.
Wiens lost his vision when he was severely burned in a construction accident in 2008. He received his new face thanks to a donor.
This weekend, Wiens was one of four people to be awarded the prestigious "Patient of Courage" award by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The award is given to patients who have required reconstructive plastic surgery procedures to contend with a physical adversity, yet found a way to give back to their communities through charitable work.
Wiens has teeth and several skin-reduction surgeries around his chin, neck and under his right eye up next. He is finishing his biography and is also starting to develop a TV documentary.
When asked if he ever mourns his previous life, Wiens said he doesn't look back.
"I've never really thought about it," he said. "In life, in my mind, this is who I am today, and whoever I was then died when I hit that [power] line. I had a chance to become a better person, and I have."
Wiens said he describes his life today as "living."
"There's a difference between living and surviving," he said.
The Southlake Lion's Club is raising money through a benefit ride this weekend to buy a $50,000 seeing eye dog for Wiens.