22-year-old American woman transplanted face after a failed suicide attempt

18-year-old Katie Player the year 2014 was difficult: first she had surgery on the gut, and then her mother got fired and the family had to move to another town, and the girl – go to a new school. The last straw was the breakup: “When it happened, I realized that I just don’t want to live,” says Katie in an interview with National Geographic magazine.

March 25 the same year, she took a shotgun at the home of his brother, went into the bathroom and tried to commit suicide. Fortunately, the attempt failed. Kathy survived, but her face is almost nothing left. The shot destroyed the nose, mouth, upper jaw, teeth and part of his forehead. The eye survived, but doctors had to install a special brace to Katie is not blind. The bullet also grazed the girl’s brain. According to the attending physician, her brain was “almost naked”, because of what Cathy had was cramps.

For three years, the girl underwent 22 operations. The most difficult was the last: may 4, 2017 fully doctors transplanted the girl’s face. Such operations in the world spent only 39. The transplant lasted 31 hours, and over the face of Katie worked from 11 surgeons.

The donor was a 31-year-old Andrea Schneider, who died from an overdose of drugs. In addition to Katie, her organs were transplanted into six patients. Transplantation was successful: after 3 months the girl was discharged from the hospital. Now Katie is much easier to breathe, chew and swallow, but she will need throughout life to take immunosuppressive drugs. Otherwise the body may reject the transplanted tissue.

“Life is precious and life is beautiful. You need to be able to appreciate it. Now I can touch your face, and it’s just awesome,” says Katie. Now she plans to finish school and go to study psychology. According to the journalists portal the Daily Mail, Katie wants to help the survivors of a failed attempt of suicide.

If you are sure that someone in your family is thinking about suicide, be sure to read the article “Man wanted to commit suicide. What do I do?”. In which we talked about all the ways you can save him.