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Man Who Received Full Face Transplant Opens Up to GQ Magazine

When Richard Norris accidentally shot himself in the face in 1997, he was worried that no one would want to look at him ever again. Now, after a bold face transplant surgery, he’s being featured in GQ magazine’s August issue.

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Photo by Dan Winters/GQ

Norris, 39, spent nearly a decade in seclusion living with his parents in Virginia, according to the magazine. He took meals alone in his bedroom and wore a mask on the rare occasion he ever left the house. His family even covered up mirrors in their home to ensure he wouldn’t have to see his own reflection.

In 2012, a team of physicians led by Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez connected with Norris and offered to do a complete face transplant to help him regain the quality of life he had before the accident.

The 36-hour surgery took the face of a recently deceased 21-year-old and grafted it onto Norris’ repaired face structure. Rodriguez said that it was the most extensive of all face transplants ever performed, according to The Telegraph. Today, Norris is still learning to adapt to his new face.

Read GQ’s in-depth story on Norris here.

“A drop of hope can create an ocean,” Norris says in the feature. “But a bucket of faith can create an entire world.”

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