A man who underwent stunning transplant surgery earlier this year revealed his new ego to the world today.
Cameron Underwood, 26, caused depression and alcohol abuse, which caused him to try to take his life in June 2016.
The suicide attempt destroyed most of his face but, miraculously, he survived.
Cameron lost most of the lower jaw, each tooth, but one, his nose and suffered severe damage in the maxillary region and the palate.
Formerly a welder and machinist, Cameron tried several reconstructive surgeries before discovering Dr. Eduardo Rodríguez at the University of New York Langone Health in New York.
Her mother, Beverly Bailey-Potter, said she had read an article in People magazine about NYU's face transplant program and decided to ask some questions for her child.
"When I read what Dr. Rodríguez did for his other patients, we knew he was the only person whom we trust Cameron's life," said Beverly.
"We were willing to travel long distance."
Now, almost 11 months after the 25-hour operation, Cameron works to live the life he knew when he was outdoors, playing sports and spending time with friends and family.
"I am very grateful for having a face transplant because it gives me a second chance in life," he said.
"Although I am still recovering and recovering the feeling and mobility, especially with my lips, I'm still very happy with the results,
"I have a nose and a mouth, so I can smile, talk and eat solid foods again."
Cameron said that he was "surprising" the first time he saw his new face, adding: "he was overwhelming with emotion."
According to Dr. Rodríguez, when he met Cameron, he was convinced that he could help him recover his quality of life.
"For all of us it is really remarkable to be a part of this and make this happen," he said.
"There is no way we could return to a normal life without a face transplant."
Rodríguez led a team of more than 100 medical professionals to complete the operation, which began on January 5.
He demanded the use of 3D surgical planning and a 3D mask on the donor's face: a new approach to medical equipment.
The procedure included transplanting and rebuilding the bones of the upper and lower jaw, including the 32 teeth and gums, the roof of the mouth, the lower eyelids and cheeks, the nose and the nasal passages.
The Cameron's donor was the 23-year-old aspiring writer and filmmaker, William Fisher, from New York.
William also suffered a mental illness for several years before his death.
Her mother, Sally, said in a statement: "My son's death was a tragedy.
"I thank you that, in honoring your decision, we could give life to others."
William, who was registered as an organ donor in his teenage years, was identified as a donor of Underwood the day before the surgery that changes his life.
Today, Cameron thanked Rodriguez, NYU Langone Health, his family, and William and the Fisher family.
"I will always honor Will's legacy," he said.
– If you or someone you know need help, contact Lifeline on 11 11 14. To get help with depression, see Beyond Blue for a list of organizations that can help.
This story originally appeared in The Sun and was published here with permission.