A Fort Worth man who underwent the nation's first full face transplant surgery is settled back into life at home, a month after the remarkable surgery.
At 26 years old, Dallas Wiens says his face has brought him a new life.
The scars from the nation's first ever full face transplant surgery are healing, the swelling has gone down, his hair, also the donor's, is growing and Dallas' dream of regaining feeling in his face has come true.
"I can feel from here down and from here down. Just a light touch, including on my lips," Wiens said, gesturing from his cheekbones down to his lips.
A construction accident completely burned Dallas face, leaving him featureless and without feeling. Dallas' dream was to be able to feel his daughter's kisses on his face again. When asked if it was everything he dreamt it would be, Wiens said, "Yes, and more. Much more than I could have ever hoped."
Dallas is breathing though his nose, smelling and tasting. He's back to drinking his favorite beer and occasionally champagne.
He has gained 12 lbs. since returning home and frequents Dallas' Cosmic Cafe and his local Starbucks.
"I get approached by people who have seen me on the news and are just wishing me well, which here, in the neighborhood, people are absolutely wonderful. Either that or people don't give me a second look, which is comforting," Wiens said.
Dallas heads back to Boston to Brigham and Women's Hospital for a surgery to correct his mouth where it droops slightly and to remove some of the excess skin around his neck.
Six months from now, he hopes to be fitted with prosthetic teeth and eyes.
"I still can't believe the journey that I have been on and I know that I've got a long way left to go but every time I look back and realize what has gone on, it's just incredible," Wiens said.
Dallas says he plans to return to college to finish his degree. He is writing a book about his life that he hopes to finish by next summer and plans to help people with similar injuries through his non-profit organization.