Well Being

Face Transplant Recipient Dallas Wiens Sees Another Milestone: Marriage

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Years after receiving the first successful full face transplant in the U.S., Dallas Wiens is hitting another milestone: getting married.

In fall 2008, Wiens hit a power line while painting the Ridglea Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas — the same church he wound up marrying Jamie Nash yesterday. He received a full face transplant after a 15-hour surgery in 2011 and can now eat, drink, smell and smile, as well as being able to feel most of his face. Now, he is using his second chance at life on a wonderful new start with Nash.

The pair met in a support group for burn victims, as Nash has burns over 70% of her body from a car accident. The couple, who says that “God brought [them] together,” enjoyed a beautiful day full of guests, love and excitement among those who were excited that they could begin a life together.

“This is a giant step for him being independent,” said Wiens' step-grandmother, Sue Peterson. “He’s marrying someone who can share about their pain that they’ve gone through, and their recoveries. They have fantastic attitudes about why they’re where they are.”

I can't remotely imagine the pain, stress and pure fatigue that must come from having to deal with losing your face. Our faces, after all, are how we typically define ourselves — not so much who we are, but how we appear to the world and how others see us. Our weights may change, our shapes can alter over time, our skin may sag, but our noses, mouths and eyes are what we feel we'll “always” look like, in a way. Losing that is undoubtedly devastating, so it's incredible to hear the story of somebody who has been able to succeed and find his life partner after such a long and hard road.

Photo: Shutterstock