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Archive for March, 2012

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Broken Heart

Giving up doesn’t always mean you are weak; sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go and Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night.  I miss you like hell

Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again.

When love is lost, do not bow your head in sadness; instead keep your head up high and gaze into heaven for that is where your broken heart has been sent to heal.

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By Lisa Collier Cool

A 37-year-old Virginia man severely disfigured by a 1997 gun accident has received the most extensive full-face transplant in medical history, according to University of Maryland Medical Center surgeons.

Hospital officials report that Richard Lee Norris, of Hillsville, Va., is recovering well after an amazing, medically unprecedented 36-hour surgery that not only gave him a new face—from the hairline to the neck–but also teeth, a tongue, and upper and lower jaws. (See before/after photo above, right.)

A week after the full-face operation, Norris’ improvement has exceeded his doctors’ expectations. He can open and close his mouth and is already brushing his new teeth and shaving the whiskers growing on the transplanted face. He’s miraculously regained his sense of smell, which he’d lost after the accident.

15 Years Hiding Behind a Mask

After the gun accident destroyed his face—robbing him of his lips, nose and teeth and limiting use of his mouth—Norris underwent many lifesaving and reconstructive surgeries. He remained so disfigured that he became a recluse, hiding in his home by day and only venturing out at night to shop, wearing a mask to conceal his face, according to a report by MSNBC.

“It’s a surreal experience to look at him. It’s hard not to stare. Before, people used to stare at Richard because he wore a mask and they wanted to see the deformity,” said lead surgeon Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, associate professor of surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “Now, they have another reason to stare at him, and it’s really amazing.”

A Groundbreaking Medical First

Norris’ doctors say that the two-day operation is the world’s first full-face transplant performed by a team of plastic and reconstructive surgeons with specialized training and expertise in craniofacial surgery and reconstructive microsurgery.

In all, more than 150 doctors, nurses, and medical staffers were involved in the groundbreaking procedure, which used innovative surgical and computerized techniques to “precisely transplant the mid-face, maxilla and mandible including teeth, and a portion of the tongue,” as well as underlying muscles and nerves, said Dr. Rodriquez in a news release.

“Our goal is to restore function as well as have aesthetically pleasing results.”

A Rare Operation

Norris is only the 23rd person in medical history to receive a face transplant since surgeons began doing the operation seven years ago. The first full-face transplant was performed in France, on a woman whose face was severely mauled by her dog. The first US partial face transplant was done at the Cleveland Clinic in 2008, while the first U.S. full-face procedures were performed last year at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston.

Recipients include Dallas Wiens, a 26-year-old Texan who accidentally struck a power line while painting a church; Mitch Hunter, 30, of Indiana, disfigured by a car crash, and Charla Nash, who was famously attacked and mauled by a neighbor’s pet chimpanzee, Travis. The three patients’ results were described in a recent New England Journal of Medicine study.

What’s Involved in a Full-Face Transplant?

“Unlike conventional reconstruction, facial transplantation seeks to transform severely deformed features to a near-normal appearance and function that conventional reconstructive plastic surgical techniques cannot match,” NEJM study author Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, director of the plastic surgery transplantation program at BWH, reported last year. “It truly is a life-giving procedure.”

Before a full-face transplant, patients must undergo rigorous medical and psychological exams to determine if the person is physically and mentally ready for the grueling and life-altering surgery and its potential risks, which including infections, anesthesia reactions, severe bleeding, and the possibility that the transplant may fail.

How risky are full-face transplants?

In the NEJM study, Hunter and Nash had “single episodes of rejection,” which were successfully treated with immunosuppressant drugs so their bodies wouldn’t reject the new faces. All three patients in the study got infections, with Nash developing both pneumonia and kidney failure after the operation.

Nash’s doctors also tried to give her new hands (from the same donor) to replace those lost in the chimp attack, a procedure only attempted once before, in France. In Nash’s case, the hand procedure failed and the new hands had to be amputated. However, the full-face transplant took and she has regained sensation, but not movement, in her face, according to CBS.

What might be ahead for Richard Lee Norris?

In the NEJM study, the three patients who received full-face transplants all regained partial sensation in their new faces in a few months. The researchers also reported promising results in 18 patients who received face transplants since 2005, but most were to repair partial disfigurement.

Based on these cases, Norris’ appearance is likely to gradually transform over time to look like a combination of his new and original face, and he may regain at least partial sensation. Dr. Rodriquez is hopeful that Norris, who is unemployed and has lived with his parents since the accident, will now be able to have a full life.

“This accidental injury just destroyed everything,” Dr. Rodriguez told Associated Press. “The rest of his friends and colleagues went on to start getting married, having children, owning homes.” After 15 years behind a mask, “he wants to make up for all of that.”

 

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GUIDELINES FOR MEDICAL, SURGICAL, DENTAL MISSION:

1. Our medical, dental & surgical mission will be at the SJA campus on April 2,
2012, Monday 8AM-2PM.
2. All participants of dental, operation tuli & Pap smear must pre-register at your barangay. Each barangay is entitled to have five participants for each procedure. We will issue a stub to each participant upon registration in your barangay and this stub must be presented to the pregistration table/table 1 on the day of the mission for confirmation in our master list. Last day of registration is March 31, 2012, 12:00 NOON. The registration lists will be collected from the barangays on March 31, 2012, 1pm onwards.
3. All those who want to participate in our medical & pediatric mission (adults & children) must come on the day of the mission for registration on a first come, first serve basis.
4. There will be 300+ free blood glucose tests for the adults.
5. There will be free reading glasses to be given away.
6. All participants must arrive at the St. Joseph Academy campus on or before 8AM
7. For pre-registered patients (dental, operation tuli & Pap smear), please proceed to the “Preregistration Table/Table 1.”
8. Medical & Pediatric patients please proceed to the “Registration Table/Table 2.”
9. An usher or usherette will guide you to the assigned room for the procedure.
10. A guardian or parent who will sign the consent prior to the procedure must accompany all participants of operation tuli and dental mission who are 17 years old or younger.
11. For the participants of Pap smear, there should be:
• No bleeding/spotting
• No sexual contact for three days(3) days prior to pap smear
• No abnormal discharge
• If the participant has any of these three symptoms she is advised to give her slot to another qualified participant
12. For the participants of dental mission, please
• Take a bath & brush your teeth before coming to the mission
13. For the participants of operation tuli & pap smear, please
• Take a bath before coming to the mission

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1. Our medical, dental & surgical mission will be at the SJA campus on April 2,
2012, Monday 8AM-2PM.
2. All participants of dental, operation tuli & Pap smear must pre-register at your barangay. Each barangay is entitled to have five participants for each procedure. We will issue a stub to each participant upon registration in your barangay and this stub must be presented to the pregistration table/table 1 on the day of the mission for confirmation in our master list. Last day of registration is March 31, 2012, 12:00 NOON. The registration lists will be collected from the barangays on March 31, 2012, 1pm onwards.
3. All those who want to participate in our medical & pediatric mission (adults & children) must come on the day of the mission for registration on a first come, first serve basis.
4. There will be 300+ free blood glucose tests for the adults.
5. There will be free reading glasses to be given away.
6. All participants must arrive at the St. Joseph Academy campus on or before 8AM
7. For pre-registered patients (dental, operation tuli & Pap smear), please proceed to the “Preregistration Table/Table 1.”
8. Medical & Pediatric patients please proceed to the “Registration Table/Table 2.”
9. An usher or usherette will guide you to the assigned room for the procedure.
10. A guardian or parent who will sign the consent prior to the procedure must accompany all participants of operation tuli and dental mission who are 17 years old or younger.
11. For the participants of Pap smear, there should be:
• No bleeding/spotting
• No sexual contact for three days(3) days prior to pap smear
• No abnormal discharge
• If the participant has any of these three symptoms she is advised to give her slot to another qualified participant
12. For the participants of dental mission, please
• Take a bath & brush your teeth before coming to the mission
13. For the participants of operation tuli & pap smear, please
• Take a bath before coming to the mission

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We have a grand reunion of 10 years after graduate at cuyo, palawan this coming april

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