Safety and OSHA News

Man hopes to get face transplant after being seriously burned at work

Fourteen months after a workplace incident that burned nearly all the flesh from the crown of his head to the tip of his chin, a Texas man is waiting to hear whether he may be a candidate for a rare face transplant.

Dallas Wiens’ head touched a high-voltage power line while he was standing in a cherry picker making repairs to a church window in Fort Worth.

Wiens doesn’t remember the incident. He awoke three months later in the hospital.

Doctors didn’t expect him to live. But after more than 20 surgeries, he’s living with his grandparents. The Dallas News describes his face now as “a smooth, featureless melon of skin and muscle harvested from elsewhere on his body.”

A photo shows what Wiens looks like today. His mouth is the only feature left on his face. (Note: The photo is disturbing.)

Wiens will make two trips to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston where one successful face transplant was done last year, to determine if he is a candidate for a similar operation. Only two such transplants have ever been done in the U.S.

His other option is facial reconstruction using prosthetic or artificial parts.

As is, his story of survival is inconceivable. But even more incredible is Wiens’ positive attitude toward life.

Regarding the possibility of the facial transplant, Wiens said, “If that’s the route I go, God’s going to lead me and take care of me.”

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  1. Is there a way I can donate a small amount of money to Dallas Wiens? If so e-mail me the particulars.

    Dean C.

  2. Editor’s note: This information was provided by the Dallas News:


    The Dallas About Face fund has been set up to help Dallas Wiens with medical and other expenses. Contributions to the fund may be sent to Wells Fargo Bank, 5800 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76107.

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