KIPS BAY, Manhattan – He is one of the youngest face transplant recipients in the world and one of the…
KIPS BAY, Manhattan –
He is one of the youngest face transplant recipients in the world and one of the fastest to recover.
Cameron Underwood, 26, from northern California, has undergone radical transformation just 18 months after taking his own life.
WATCH: ABC News 20/20’s Inspiring Profile:
Underwood, who struggled with depression, had put a gun under the heel and pulled the trigger.
He did not think He would have a second chance, but in a 25-hour operation at NYU Langone Health performed Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez a face transplant, where Cam, as he called, got a brand new lower face.
It’s a face that he says still feels like him.
“Most of the time you look in the mirror, you look at yourself in your eyes,” he said. “And my eyes are the same.”
The remarkable family of a donor, a 23-year-old New Yorker named Will Fisher, who had lost his life on mental illness, had emerged.
The connection to Dr. Rodriguez was only made after the Cam mom had a newspaper and read about him. She then stretched out.
“I think people should not feel there’s no hope,” said Dr. Rodriguez. “It should not lead to isolation, it should not lead to privacy.”
Underwood is still returning monthly for follow-up, and he has a strict regime of anti-repellent drugs for the rest of his life.
Big obstacles are over now, and Cam reaches new heights and shows that other chances can change life forever.
8 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)