One man, who suffered a catastrophic injury while on the job, underwent a literal life-changing and first-of-its-kind medical procedure, and the whole ordeal has changed his entire outlook.
Life is a series of unpredictable and somewhat complicated, perplexing events. During trials and hardships, people can ask difficult questions that often go unanswered. The pain and anger felt during these difficulties are real and palpable.
Aaron James, a 46-year-old Arkansas native, is no stranger to trials and hardships. He's also familiar with what it's like to endure such situations and come out a changed man, both on the inside and the outside, according to People.
It was in June 2021 when Aaron, while working as a lineman, had his entire life changed forever. While on the job, Aaron, a veteran of the Army National Guard, was attempting to transfer wires to a new electrical pole. However, Aaron's face touched a live wire, sending more than 7,000 volts of electricity into his body.
The injuries from the incident were devastating. Half of his face was literally blown off. He was left without his left eye and his nose. Additionally, doctors had to remove part of his arm and several of his teeth.
Also, People reports that Aaron endured strokes and kidney failure in the aftermath. To say that period was a difficult time for Aaron and his family would have been a severe understatement.
Aaron Was Unable to Eat Much and Lost More than 70 Pounds Following the Incident
The injury had left him unable to eat solid food. The only way for him to consume nourishment was to sip "pureed soup from a straw." He ended up shedding more than 70 pounds.
In an interview with People, Aaron, a husband and father of one, mentioned how he would often question the entire situation.
"I got pretty down and went through the whole ‘Why me?’ I broke down, and I cried," Aaron said. "I think that’s a natural way to react over something like this."
But then Aaron and his family received a little hope. They learned about the possibility of a face and eye transplant. After meeting with the doctor and learning about the potential risks, Aaron was deemed a perfect patient for the transplant.
Aaron Underwent 21-Hour Face, Eye Transplant Surgery
So, then in May 2023, after nearly a day in surgery – 21 hours – a dedicated team of medical professionals had successfully performed the transplant. Aaron had a new face and a new chance at life.
Aaron is now able to do everything he could do prior to the surgery.
"I can open my mouth, I can eat, I can smell everything, I can taste everything," he said.
The successful surgery went even better than Aaron had anticipated. He almost can't even believe the results himself.
"I couldn’t have expected anything better. When I look in the mirror, it almost don’t even look like I’ve had a surgery," Aaron said. "I’m still in shock."
Aaron realizes that he has been given a precious gift. He is grateful for the young organ donor who literally gave his face to the 46-year-old husband and father of one.
"I couldn’t say ‘thank you' enough," he stated. "There’s no words that can cover it. There are bad things going on in this world and you can lose hope. But when something like this happens, it brings hope back. It makes you want to be a better person for them."
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." – Colossians 3:16
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