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Man models face transplant: Richard Norris talks life-altering transformation

A man models his face transplant success in the new issue of GQ, and people are definitely taking notice. Richard Norris is the man who received a face transplant a few years ago after an accidental gunshot ravaged his face. The New York post shared the details on Norris' work with GQ on Tuesday.

Richard Norris is the man modeling after a face transplant
Screencap via video

Norris was 22 when he was arguing with his mother at home in 1997 about his partying. The sheriff's report from the incident indicated that he grabbed a shotgun from a gun cabinet and told his mother he would shoot himself. He racked a shell into the chamber, and the shotgun fired. His face was destroyed, with his jaw, chin, teeth, tongue, lips, cheekbones and nose gone.

The young man then was given a face transplant after Joshua Aversano, 21, died in a traffic accident in 2012. Norris' initial procedure to create a new face took 36 hours. He received not only new skin, but new blood vessels, bone, muscle and a new tongue in the operation, and he needs to take multiple heavy medications to ensure his body doesn't reject it all. He will be on the drugs, five in total, for the rest of his life, and he is weak and unable to drive.

That said, as the man models the face transplant outcome he tells GQ that he hopes to help and inspire others experiencing disfiguring injuries. He is extremely limited in what he can do as he need to avoid possible rejection, and his mother is healthy either. Norris says he wakes up fearing rejection every day, but he knows he is in good hands.

Norris still has a long way to go in his recovery, but he is determined to rebuild his life. As the man models his face transplant he says he wants to golf, fish and spend time with friends and family. His goal now that he feels a bit more comfortable socially is to “start working on the life given back to me.”