Face Transplant Recipient Receives Leader Dog

Dallas Wiens expresses appreciation for the support

By Andres Gutierrez
|  Monday, Jun 25, 2012  |  Updated 8:16 AM CDT
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A Fort Worth man who became the first person in the country to receive a full facial transplant has reached a major milestone.  NBC 5 was there as Dallas Wiens showed off his new canine companion.

Andres Gutierrez, NBC 5 News

A Fort Worth man who became the first person in the country to receive a full facial transplant has reached a major milestone. NBC 5 was there as Dallas Wiens showed off his new canine companion.

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Dallas Wiens has a new companion in life. Charlie, a golden retriever, will now help the face transplant recipient navigate daily life.

"It's much easier to walk with Charlie than to walk with a cane to notice obstacles around him, he's actually trained to walk me around different things any obstacles that are in my path," Wiens said.

Wiens was the first person in the nation to receive a face transplant. It has been an arduous road to get this point, along the way receiving support from all over.

"I saw an out-pour of love and prayer and support from people I will never meet in my life, who have never met me, who will never have a chance to shake my hand,” Wiens said.

On Sunday afternoon he thanked members of the Southlake Lions Club. The organization held a fundraiser to help Wiens get Charlie.

“The most important thing for him is to be independent," said David Wiens, Dallas' brother.

Wiens’ parents are looking forward to what lies ahead for their son and his new friend.

"God has been faithful to that-- to pull him out and to raise him up higher,” said Lea Wiens, Dallas' mother. “Deep down, he is our Dallas and that will never change."

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