Cleveland Clinic’s Third Face Transplant | Katie Stubblefield


♪ [Mother] Katie, when she was a little girl she was always very curious, very grown up, I think it was having older siblings, very tenacious personality. Katie was a funny kid. She was always the witty one of the bunch very loving, lots of hugs and was a very active soccer player from the time she was like 3 or 4. Had to have all those A’s and that 4.0. [Father] That day started out like a lot of days, Katie was finishing up, that was her senior year. She was upset, I guess you would say a boyfriend/girlfriend break up, kind of deal. There was nothing in her voice, there was nothing that would factually make you think that something is about to take place. And we kind of heard this loud noise. Robert and I thought the back door had slammed from the wind. [Mother] And the only thing I remember is I saw your feet and your legs Katie. And then as soon as I got ready to look up my son picked me up and took me outside, he didn’t want me to see Katie. Robert just said, “Mom, Katie’s gotten hurt,” and he goes, “It’s my gun.” [Father] We met with the emergency trauma surgeon. He said the entry point was here, it exited here, he said “there was no penetration of the brain.” And he said “this is the worst case I’ve even seen.” He said, “outside of a face transplant I just don’t know.” [Mother] He had tears welling up in his eyes and he put his arm around me and he goes, “if this works for you to go to Cleveland Clinic, you need to take the opportunity. Because that will be a way your daughter can get her life back.” ♪ [Dr. Gastman] When I heard her age, her story, was she going to survive? Was she going to get meningitis and die? How were we going to rebuild these different levels of her cranial facial units? What was salvageable? That really was all unknown. The thing about the Cleveland Clinic is our team approach. So we gathered a team of experts, we surrounded the patient and we took care of her. We knew immediately that she would be a fairly good candidate for face transplantation. So in preparation we arranged different types of procedures to get general reconstruction, to get her functioning better. [Father] We had a lot of ups and downs, we had some big close scary calls. But there was a couple of occasions too, where we thought we were going to lose her. [Mother] Even though she might have been a candidate physically they had to make sure mentally that she was a candidate. [Papay] Then we started planning and that took months and months and months of planning. [Gastman] And I think we have such a great assembled team of thinkers. We’ve had meetings where upwards of 60 or 70 team members are in the room, from transplant surgery, to transplant coordinators to endocrinologists, to nephrologists, anesthesia, ICU staff. They’re all there. That’s the kind of team approach that we do here. [Mother] We don’t know if it will take place next week or if it will be another 3 months, but in the meantime if she’s constantly getting stronger and we continue to do everything they tell us to do. ♪ [Father] Yesterday when we got the call it was May the 2nd and it was three years ago yesterday that Katie and I flew into Cleveland. So basically 3 years to the day, and here we are. I didn’t lie to you. This is going to happen. It’s happening now. I’m excited. Just who you are and how you’re getting through this and wanting to move forward. And how much you’ve inspired so many people that’s the miracle. That’s the amazing part of what’s going on. I love you. There’s a lot of people. There’s a lot of excitement and a lot of energy. Everybody wants to help, everybody’s here to spend the next two days on this. We have a good plan and you’re going to see thing move efficiently. ♪ It went extremely well. ♪ Is this what I wanted for my daughter at 22? No. But do I feel like Katie has another opportunity at life? Yes. [Gastmans] She’s healthy, she’s improving her speech, she’s improving her eating, she’s starting to smile a little bit, the transplant looks great. There’s no recent rejections. Those are huge successes. [Father] I had no idea the extensive nature of the journey we would enter into. One door opens to another door, opens to another door, it’s constantly evolving. [Mother] She’s taking braille she’s taking cane training, she can learn to read again, she can learn to walk, she can learn to speak. [Papay] They are about as resilient as you can be and I am proud of them as much as I am proud of Katie. [Mother] I don’t think this is the end of her story. I don’t know how she will help people, I feel in my heart she will as a mom. But I just want Katie to have a life. Life is not about the absence of difficulty or absence of troubles, but it’s a part of the fabric of what any of us go through. Katie was asked a question the other day, “how would you summarize?” She said, “that life is precious and it is beautiful.” ♪

100 thoughts on “Cleveland Clinic’s Third Face Transplant | Katie Stubblefield

  1. It's sad 😢 but that's what depression can do many prayers too her God bless you ❤️ 😇❤️❤️

  2. I hope that she is able to talk to groups of youths and be an advocate to young people about depression. It is not a laughing matter and should be taken seriously. It can hide. I am sorry for her parents that did not even see it. She hid it well.

  3. If I were her Id never want to have someone keep me alive. I would want to be just let go. I think being kept alive is barbaric.

  4. DID ANYONE ASK HER WHAT SHE WANTED???????? OR WAS SHE JUST ALL THESE CLOWN DRS MEDICAL LAB RAT???

  5. The craziest thing is she can’t even see what she looks like now. But thinking about it that’s probably best for her mental state.

  6. As a young police officer one morning I responded to a possible suicide/shots fired call. There were other officers dispatched to the call as well, but I had just left briefing which meant I was just a few blocks away from the location given out by dispatchers. Like the young lady in this video, the middle aged man who was trying to kill himself put his pistol directly under his chin and the bullet did not penetrate his skull cavity. Although there was a horrible bloody mess on the porch, literally enough bleeding to begin piling up as I had seen at other suicide and murder scenes, the guy wasn't dead. Instead of ending his misery the man blew his face to shreds. As I stepped onto his porch and told his screaming wife to step back inside her house he began trying to get up off the floor. While he was in a sort of pushup position I suddenly realized he had a large stainless steel semiautomatic pistol in one hand. I had just pushed him back to the floor and took his gun from him when another patrolman, a detective and a nurse came running to the porch. After he was transported via helicopter life flight to a major metropolitan hospital I was able to get a statement from his wife.

    Without going into too much detail, she said he was upset because she asked for a divorce. He was so distraught he took his gun then stepped out the front door and closed it before she heard a single gunshot. The injuries to his face, which included total destruction of his tongue, nose, palate, most of his teeth and blowing his sinus cavity wide open, were mostly from the massive amount of expending gases that travel behind the bullet. The skin flap from his nose looked like the gullet had passed through it sideways. So I stood where his wife said he had been at the moment he shot himself and looked up. Sure enough, I located a single spent slug, completely intact, stuck about an inch into the large wooden beam near the very front of the porch on that turn of the century home. One of my responsibilities at a scene like that is to investigate it for what the call was reported to be rather than an attempted murder by the wife or some unknown third party.

    I never saw either of them again. This was in the fall of 2001, so I am doubtful he obtained a face transplant.

  7. Here is an idea. Why not have a mask made out of silicon sculpted to look like Katie's former face and have the mask permanently attached to her face. Why silicon, because of the flexibility of the material and the closet thing to real skin out on the market.
    Katie doesn't have to be "attractive" to be beautiful, her beauty shines on the inside. The silicon mask is just an idea.

  8. I think it’s amazing that they can do this type of surgery, it gives the patient another chance at a somewhat normal life! God Bless all those Doctors 🙏🏽

  9. satan tried to take her out…all to the Glory of her Creator…Bless her Father God in every step she takes

  10. With all due respect to the incredible advances in facial reconstruction….the fact that 40 people in the same room, operating together in harmony is what also fascinates me.

  11. But yes she was pretty but still is beautiful soul on the inside but i bet shes thankful that she has a face so she can live a peaceful normal life…🙏🙏❤❤

  12. for some reason the thumbnail looks like mallory everton from studio c… sorry i just had to throw that out there

  13. I hope she is o.k. i hate how much life sucks and why do such horrible things happen. Where is god.

  14. Whymom said she didn't want that for her daughter at 22..that part doesn't sounds very good.first it's was her decision..fo pull the trigger…2nd..a team .a DONOR ..WORKED FOR HUORS..AND MOST OF ALLSHE ALIVE!

  15. No break up is worth your life. You WILL eventually feel better… I promise. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

  16. WHAT…is all the god comments? She had a break up with a boyfriend…blame GOD for all the firearms in AMERICAN households..maybe that is were you will find GOD!!! FFS!!! My only sympathy goes to her as in no FIREARM no irrational moment in time…..

  17. The barter of such a beautiful face god gifted her with no face at all to the face of a 50 year old lady is not so wise. God bless all

  18. My prayer is that more people will turn to God rather than trying to take their own life, it is not worth it!!

  19. How sad. No break up is worth that. I hope she can heal emotionally as well as physically. Thank God for the donors family.

  20. Guys, she still beautiful as she was then and now. Stop criticizing of whay she looks like now. They worked hard.

  21. What you have gone through and survived as a family speaks for itself. As for donor thanks for your sacrifice. God bless you all.

  22. She was BEAUTIFUL! Why would she do this? Maybe she meant for herself to die when she shot herself… Omfg that's horrible! She looks totally different from how she did I bet she's thankful now…

  23. Suicide attempts should be placed at the bottom of a face donor list. I feel sorry for her, but those who attempt suicide are selfish because they don't think of the sorrow they'll bring after they've killed themselves. On the other hand, her loved ones had to have seen the signs of what brought her to do this before it happened.

  24. Did both of her eyes survive the gunshot? Or is one artificial. I can't tell but I cannot see her right eye wasn't damaged. Bless her heart

  25. All that effort, all that money, all that medical expertise for a girl that threw her life away over a boy. Too freaking stupid. I’m sorry for her family, but I find it difficult to feel sorry for her. Nobody is worth suicide…….NOBODY. My step-daughter had two friends in high school who committed suicide over a failed relationship. She was deeply affected. It’s stupid, foolish. Parents need to look for the signs of depression.

  26. So sad for her and her family. Suicide is always a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Teenagers in particular, think they won't ever overcome things, but they have to realize that these little FB and HS squabbles are just that, and not worth worrying over. Those problems will go away. Please, if you're having trouble coping, seek out help, it is out there.

  27. How has science come so far, yet not far enough at all? Seems to me they could take the girls DNA information, and grow an exact clone of her facial bones, and grow a clone of the face. I can't see why that would be so far fetched for science! I think the facial transplant surgeries are a bit grotesque, and make little to no aesthetic difference. The only good that come from them is the discomforts that go along with not having a face. I feel bad for the girl, and depression is a real killer…

  28. Imma choice my words carefully. I hate that she experienced depression. However, she needs to be under a good psychology and psychiatrist. She is not well. She still needs help.She can still help others that have suffer from depression and suicide thoughts. 😍😘🤗

  29. Honestly I would be mortified to survive this. I know for a fact that it would only make my depression worse to wake up mangled but alive. I don’t know why no one has said this already. I can’t resist saying it.

  30. Is this really the same person? Her hair and body show zero resemblance to the first picture. Is this story legitimate?

  31. I hope those girls and women who are feeling depressed over a breakup are watching this. See ….the guy is nowhere in sight and this girl is suffering.

  32. Just think what those parents have and will go through the parents will be with There daughter that true love I pray for peace for this beautiful family and the donar

  33. No one has considered that if her anti-rejection medications stop working, or her body rejects the transplant, they need a plan for that…

  34. Christ, she sure messed herself up! What could she have been so depressed about to make her do something like that?? She was so pretty!

  35. No I wouldn’t put my daughter through this , it’s not a good quality of life. If she wanted to go , maybe they should of let her

  36. Why does people have to lose their face to understand that life is fine and there is normal ups and downs ………. at least shot yourself right rather than to come back with regret and pain ………… it is very sad that people doesnt understand the beauty of life except when they suffer major 🙂

  37. I highly encourage people to read and find out more about her story. The "boyfriend-girlfriend" thing happened after her mother was fired by Katie's school's headmaster, and shortly after, Katie found her then-boyfriend texts to another girl. Katie made a bad, impulsive decision, but she lived through it and she was not indicated suicidal by the time she got her new face. There was one case in Paris where a suicidal patient got his face transplanted and he killed himself three years after the surgery – which adds in to consideration for the hospital's psychiatrist when screening Katie as a transplant candidate. But Katie was reported stable. She just wanted "to go out and be a face in the crowd that no one looks at".

    There's a lot of insensitive comments under this video and I'm hoping this family never reads them. Saying she probably regrets her face doesn't help anyone. The family knows that she won't be able to have her old face again, but they went through it anyway. Katie wasn't a horrible story at all – she persevered with the help of this amazing technology and that's what people should be focusing at.

  38. Every comment I see is like "she was so pretty" like, isn't she pretty now? I think that she is pretty now also

  39. What a tragedy. No boyfriend/girlfriend is worth doing that to yourself. How very sad. I hope she can recover mentally as well as physically from this.

  40. This Motherf…… Guns ! My God what is so great about this I be very glad that im my Land not every Person can buy a gun there are so many accidents with this shit Children and Teenager Dying every Day in the USA please stop it!!!! I HOPE she feel better now and wish her just the best!

  41. Kids, they just don't think, that one stupid decision that changes everything! Glad she's ok and hopefully this will help other kids to just stop and really think about it.

  42. She is just as beautiful as she was before. All human beings are beautiful regardless of how his or her face looks.

  43. You think she would be more depressed now because she use to be beautiful, she is gonna have to be strong, I couldn’t and if she wanted to go and her decision I wouldn’t force her to stay if she was miserable

  44. And all it takes is someone stupid opinion and look what happens and she will deal with this the rest of her life and the jerk that helped caused it will walk away as usual

  45. And get this the person that caused her to do this will play it like we hope and pray u move on but never admit their guilt.

    If u ask my personal opinion whoever did this to her.

    This girl that did this to herself her family should've sued the asses off the people that helped contribute to her doing this to herself. Because it all starts from somewhere. She didn't just decide to do this to herself

  46. Have no words. Make me rethink my own conduct and attitude in life. I think it is time to educate myself to be much more positive.

  47. There's a saying my family always said having a gun in home is like having. The devil in your house . Is no one's fault but in my humble opinion is a a true saying!

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