But after 15 years of suffering, he finally got a chance - a true blessing. Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center used cutting edge research and procedures to do a full face transplant for Richard.
Following the procedure, he regained the ability to taste, smell, smile and talk, with the help of extensive therapy. "Now his tongue is moving appropriately," said Dr. Rodriguez. "His tongue meets the front of his teeth, so he can pronounce the 'l's and the 'T's, something he hadn't done in a long time and learning how to eat. All of that is progressing wonderfully."
After seven months, he has made amazing progress and he fights hard to keep a positive attitude and celebrate each small victory.
Norris later released this statement: "People used to stare at me because of my disfigurement. Now they can stare at me in amazement and in the transformation I have taken. I can now start working on the new life given back to me."
Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez performed the incredible procedure and had this to say about his patient: "Our goal for Richard from the beginning was to restore facial harmony and functional balance in the most aesthetic manner possible through the complex transplantation of the facial bones, nerves, muscles, tongue, teeth and the associated soft tissues. "Richard is exceeding my expectations this soon after his surgery, and he deserves great deal of credit for the countless hours spent practicing his speech and strengthening his new facial muscles. He's one of the most courageous and committed individuals I know."
Read more: http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21008835175537/man-receives-face-transplant-after-accident/#ixzz29x0EdPPs