26-Year-Old Man Received A Face Transplant And Met The Mother Of His Donor
April 15, 2019 12:06 By Fabiosa
Cam was a handsome young man with a beautiful smile. As part of a large family of five, the three siblings must have become the reason why the parents didn’t notice that the younger son had been fighting depression for a long time.
With his mind addled, Cameron attempted to end his life by shooting himself in the jaw. Miraculously, the doctors managed to save the young man, but his forehead and eyes were all that remained from his face: its lower part was completely destroyed.
Underwood's mother, Bev Bailey-Potter, learned about a face transplant program and made a lot of effort to help Cameron become a participant. Some months later, a donor was found – 23-year-old Will Fisher, a young aspiring writer and film director, who died suddenly, but managed to register as an organ donor. However, he mentioned nothing about the face. The doctors had to contact Will's mother, Sally. As a result of the negotiations, she agreed to the operation. Eventually, Cam received a new face and another chance.
Hours-long surgery was associated with certain risks: doctors still can’t predict what the life expectancy will be after such an intervention. However, after going through rehabilitation, Cameron was finally able to see himself in the mirror, eat normally, and leave the house without a mask.
We hope that in the future he will make better decisions and live with dignity as much as he is designated. He took one of the first steps towards this when the postoperative traces almost disappeared: Cam visited Sally Fisher to thank her personally for the chance of a new life. The video of their meeting is difficult to watch without tears: it looked like the sad woman was hugging her son again.
The moment face transplant recipient thanks his donor's mom: Cameron Underwood underwent a miraculous face transplant & meets Sally Fisher, who chose to make the donation for Cam after the death of her son Will. The full reunion, tonight on #ABC2020 https://t.co/mp6hIO1cT4 pic.twitter.com/VSRqI98Hci— 20/20 (@ABC2020) November 16, 2018
Donor families are usually contacted by medical personnel to express their gratitude for donations and report on how the organs helped.
.@People chronicles the journey of Cameron Underwood, a 26-year-old #facetransplant patient of @nyulangone plastic surgeon Dr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez. "It was either stay the way I was or take a chance on something better,” says Cameron. His story: https://t.co/97HTDJhWUR pic.twitter.com/ZmYNzOT8Tk— NYU Langone Health (@nyulangone) November 15, 2018
As a rule, communication takes place in the format of written correspondence. In some cases, acceptors express a desire to thank the relatives of the people who saved him personally: they either send the letter (all mail is anonymous) or agree, by mutual consent, on a meeting. Cameron chose the latter, probably most proper variant.
"I got my son back. And I feel so blessed that he can now live a normal life,” said mother of face transplant recipient Cameron Underwood. Read more about the generosity of Cameron’s donor and the power of #organdonation: https://t.co/CewUgY9YP2 @people #LiveOnNY— LiveOnNY (@LiveOnNewYork) November 14, 2018
They say that communication with the donor’s family helps to endure the pain of loss due to the realization that a part of the deceased saved someone else. Hopefully, Cam will support Sally and change his mindset completely not to discredit Will’s memory.