Face Transplant Recipient Smiles Again

Dallas Wiens' face was burned off in 2008 construction accident.

By Amanda Guerra
|  Monday, Jan 16, 2012  |  Updated 2:57 PM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Adorable Zoo Babies: Bear Cub Learns to Walk

NBC 5

Dallas Wiens' first smile since pioneering face transplant surgery in 2011.

advertisement
Photos and Videos

Face Transplant Recipient Smiles Again

After becoming the first full face transplant recipient in the United States, Dallas Wiens can smile again.

Wiens on New Acrylic Eyes: "I Like Them"

The nation's first full-face transplant recipient is doing well and says he "feels fantastic."
More Photos and Videos

Ten months after becoming the first person to receive a full face transplant in the United States, a Fort Worth man marvels at his new-found ability to smile.

Dallas Wiens’ face was burned off in 2008 when his head touched a high-voltage power line while he was standing in an elevated cherry picker.

In March 2010, Wiens became the only patient of the first three surgeries done in the U.S. who did not suffer an acute rejection of the transplant within the first six months.

“It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a year. It doesn't feel that long ago,” Wiens said.

The 26-year-old father has slowly regained feeling in his face since the surgery.

“The most sensation I have gained so far is right around the right eyebrow, which is really very tender sensation. And actually I've regained full sensation in my bottom lip and quite a bit more in my upper lip,” he said.

But more recently, Wiens reached another milestone, one that was unexpected.

It happened while Wiens was visiting his former nurses at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

I was smiling just because I enjoyed seeing them all again and one of them mentioned the fact that I was smiling and I said, No I'm not.’”

Wiens explains he knew he was smiling on the inside, but up until recently the nerves in his face hadn't developed to where you could see the smile on the outside.

Now, his smile is there for the world to see.

It's really the way you tell who somebody is inside. Because of the way their face looks," he said.

"I had people ask me what was wrong just because of the way... my face looked, because I looked like I was sad. So sad, happy, you know- pretty much any emotion I can do now, which is incredible to me.”

Wiens said it’s important for his 4-year-old daughter, Scarlett to see his smile.

It’s just one small step on a journey that’s far from over.

“My long term goal is just literally see where it goes. Because already I feel like I've gained so much back that I'm impressed! So, just see where it's going to end up.”

 


Previous Coverage:

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get NBCDFW on Mobile!
Get NBCDFW's free news and weather... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out