Patrick Hardison had some very serious burns with third-degree burns while trying to save a woman from a fire.
There were third-degree burns all over his face and scalp. For this reason for years, he was forced to wear a baseball cap, sunglasses, and prosthetic ears in public.
The children ran away when they saw him on the street but his life would change when in 2015 he did a face transplant.
The chances of survival were given by the doctors 50/50. The operation lasted 26 hours and more than 100 doctors worked. Today he lives happily with his wife and children.
With medicine so much developed in recent years, it has become possible to change the face. Like any other parent and Patrick went to his children’s sports activities and was a very loving person to the community.
But on a typical day, his life and that of his family would change completely. He was called to put out the fire in a house but that would prove fatal to him.
Hardison was inside a burning home when it collapsed on top of him.
“[My mask] was melting to my face,” Hardison said. “My hose [was] already melted.”
“For somebody who does what we do for a living, I’ve never seen anybody burned that bad that was still alive,” friend and first responder Jimmy Neal recalled of seeing Hardison after the accident.
“I did not see myself until probably November. I got injured in September, ”Hardison told Fox News. “They had cut a little pinhole in one of my eyelids because they had everything covered, skin graft. I looked in the mirror and all I could do, I said, ‘this is it? I can’t do this, ‘” he recalled.
It was very difficult for him and the children to go out in public. People stared at him all the time or ran away.
Doctors managed to find a donor for his face. The face belonged to David Rodebaugh, a 26-year-old who had sustained a massive head injury in a bike accident and had been declared brain dead.
After David’s death, his mother donated every organ of his including his face. At first, he found it difficult to look at his son’s face elsewhere but when he met Patrick he realized he had to do it.
Despite all that, the surgery was life-changing. Not only did Patrick experience the joy of seeing his family again, but he also got to meet David Rodebaugh’s mother, Nancy Millar. Their first encounter after the surgery was an emotional one, and it turned out Nancy had one request.
Millar asked her to kiss him on the forehead. “That’s the one thing I wanted to do because every night before David went to bed when he was little, I kissed his forehead.”
Today after many years Patrick has started to lead a normal life and spread messages of hope saying that it is never too late to give up.