Burned firefighter feels normal again after face transplant

NEW YORK (AP) — A Mississippi firefighter who received the world’s most extensive face transplant after a burning building collapsed on him says he feels like “a normal guy” for the first time in 15 years.

Patrick Hardison said Wednesday that he can eat, see, hear and breathe normally a year after his surgery. He even has a full head of hair.

Hardison told reporters at NYU Langone Medical Center that he now doesn’t “worry about people pointing and staring, or kids running away crying.”

Hardison was a volunteer firefighter in Senatobia, Mississippi, when the building collapsed on him in 2001. He had 71 reconstructive surgeries before the transplant.

The 42-year-old father of five no longer needs a feeding or breathing tube.

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