Firefighters put their lives on the line each and every day so that we can stay safe in our homes. It’s so heartbreaking to see these men and women lose their lives and sustain devastating injuries while doing such selfless work.
One man who knows that all too well is Mississippi-based firefighter Patrick Hardison. While responding to a call for a massive house fire back in 2001, the roof caved in on him, and the scalding materials melted straight through his mask. The resulting injury changed his life forever.
Hardison — always a kind and gentle family man — decided to dedicate his life to helping others.
But on that fateful day in 2001, he sustained an injury that totally changed the course of his life. He suffered massive burns that effectively stripped away his entire face. Not only did the wound wreak havoc on his physical health, but it also destroyed his self confidence.
His emotional health was so shattered that he couldn’t even bear to look at himself in the mirror. One horrible accident robbed him of his personal identity.
With support from his family and the tireless physicians at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, Hardison underwent the most intense facial transplant procedure in medical history.
The operation took the team of 100 physicians and nurses 26 hours to complete, but fortunately, the strong guy made it through the entire ordeal without any complications.
After 14 years, Patrick Hardison was able to see his reconstructed face for the first time in what proved to be a powerful moment for everyone involved.
As he recovers, firefighters who were with him at the time of the accident come and spend time with him every week. While Hardison needs time to adjust to his new face, he’s so thankful to his loved ones and his dedicated medical team for helping him start this exciting new chapter.
To hear more of Hardison’s incredible story, check out the video below:
(via IFL Science)
It’s absolutely incredible to see what physicians can do today to improve the lives of those who protect us. Patrick Hardison risked everything to help those in need, and it’s only fair that these amazing doctors returned the favor. We wish this brave firefighter and his family all the best!