If you are cringing at the thought, you’re with me. James Boysen, a 55-year old software engineer from Texas, became the first person to receive a skull transplant.
The 15-hour procedure was performed to close an open wound on the top of his head from radiation therapy during his cancer treatments. It hasn’t been an easy road for Boysen. Over the course of his lifetime, his health complications have led to multiple surgical procedures.
You have to love this guy’s spirits. Here he is, undergoing countless medical procedures, and he’s smiling away. You just can’t keep a fighter down.
The transplant procedure was the work of a dozen doctors with a team of 40 other medical experts performing the microsurgery at Houston Methodist Hospital. How intense was the procedure? Surgeons used microscopes to see the blood vessels, half the diameter of a human hair and suture them together.
“For this patient, it means a new lease on life,” said reconstructive plastic surgeon Jesse Selber, who co-led the surgery, the Guardian reported. “He had [a] series of cancers of the scalp and skull that were treated with various surgeries and radiation that left him with a large wound that was all the way down to his brain.”
While the skull transplant is making the headlines, James Boysen had a laundry list of procedures performed. Already the recipient of pancreas and kidney transplants, both organs were failing and in need of new transplants.
Doctors used the same donor for the organ transplants and the skull and scalp procedure. The hope is the same donor will lower the chances of any tissue or organ rejection.
If anyone deserves a break, it’s James.
The transplant procedure was performed on May 22, and Boysen was discharged from the hospital on Thursday.
If the video wasn’t enough to show his immense gratitude and spirit, he summed up his feelings:
“I’m amazed at how great I feel, and am forever grateful that I have another chance to get back to doing the things I love and be with the people I love.” Keep fighting the good fight, brother.
A bonus for James? Thanks to the scalp transplant, he’s leaving the hospital with more hair. That’s one way to flip off Rogaine…
Let’s all wish James one hell of a speedy recovery and he can get back to living his life.
Image Credits: AP Video