Poland's first face transplant recipient heads home from the hospital

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com  |  July 30, 2013 at 7:10 PM
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Only 11 weeks after surgery that gave him an entirely new face, a 33-year-old old Polish man identified only as Grzegorz left the hospital for the first time Tuesday.

“My speech isn’t clear but it’s really important that it is there," Grzegorz told reporters Gliwice, Poland, as he readied for the journey home. "I know it’s still a long way to go.”

The factory worker was injured at his brick-making plant back in April, when a stone-cutting machine tore off his face. His injuries were so life threatening that doctors secured him the shortest-ever wait for a facial transplant procedure -- just three weeks.

"Usually, the recipients have to wait between one and seven years," Dr. Adam Maciejewski, of the Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology in Gliwice, explained Monday. "For obvious reasons, we had to act much faster, as we were saving this man's life."

Grzegorz still risks infection and will have to take medication for the rest of his life.

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