Skip to contents
In This Issue:
Scenes from surgery: from left, E.J. Caterson, MD, PhD, Donald J. Annino, MD, DMD, Bohdan Pomahac, MD, and Elof Eriksson, MD, PhD.
It took a team of more than 30 BWHers to complete the nation's first full facial transplant. BWH Bulletin caught up with just a few of the team members to find out what they had to say about being part of this milestone.
Bohdan Pomahac, MDDirector, Plastic Surgery Transplantation Program and BWH's Burn Center"Some years ago we had a patient with injuries similar to Dallas. He kept coming and painstakingly undergoing stage reconstructions with modest results. Ultimately, at one point we asked him, 'why are you subjecting yourself to all that?' and his answer was, 'I just want a cab to stop when I'm at the curb." I think that we have the obligation to help if we can."
Luis MenjivarScrub Tech"It makes me feel very warm to know that this patient is going to be able to go back to his family and to his young daughter and live a normal life.">
Dzifa S. Kpodzo, MD, MPHPlastic Surgery Resident "Participating in this transplant was life-changing not only for Dallas, but for all the physicians involved as well. The display of collegiality and camaraderie in the room was infectious, invigorating and inspirational; it was things as they always should be."
Katie Swanson, NPNurse Practitioner"This transplant has three amazing qualities: the generously of the donor; the compassion, skill and teamwork of the surgical team; and the tremendous will, desire and energy from the patient and his family."
Kathleen Manning, RNOR Circulating Nurse"It's an honor to participate in surgeries like this one because it allows you to take a step back and see the amazing work we do in this hospital every day for every one of our patients."
Tom Edrich, MDAnesthesiologist"When I met Dallas before the transplant, I was amazed at how positive and cheerful he is despite all the adversities he has endured. It's quite an example for all of us, and it's very satisfying to be part of the team that is working to give him another chance to live life to its fullest."
Donald J. Annino, MD, DMDOtolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery"It was really an amazing experience to participate in what was a life-changing event for Dallas. Everyone was completely committed to our patient, from nurses to anesthesiologists to residents to surgeons. It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of such an impressive team."
Nancy Beaudet, RNOR Circulating Nurse"The best thing about being part of this breakthrough procedure is to see how we can improve someoneÕs life, especially for someone who had such a devastating injury."
Sandra Morgan, PA-CPhysician Assistant"Being a part of Dallas' care team has been an inspirational and humbling experience not only because of the remarkable collaboration and dedication of professionals across so many different fields, but also because of Dallas' extraordinary spirit and motivation throughout this process."
Marilou Gaudette, RNOR Circulating Nurse"I feel privileged to be working with these great, wonderful and talented co-workers, and to be able to help patients like Dallas."
Lynn Mulholland, RNOR Circulating Nurse"Every day we perform surgeries that affect people's lives, but what's truly special about this surgery is that you can see visually how it will affect the patient's life."
E.J. Caterson, MD, PhD, center, stands behind Stephanie Caterson, MD, as she operates during the 15-hour procedure. The Catersons met when they were classmates in medical school. Now, the husband and wife team work together in BWH's Division of Plastic Surgery. The two participated in last weekÕs face transplant surgery, at times working side by side. "Face transplantation is a powerful tool reserved for the most complex injuries. We hope to help many others like Dallas start a new life, especially our wounded troops," E.J. Caterson said. Stephanie Caterson, who took a brief hiatus from her maternity leave to participate in the surgery, said, "The entire Division of Plastic Surgery came together, as well as Otolaryngology, Transplant and Anesthesiology. Everyone offered a different area of expertise, which allowed the procedure to go as smoothly as possible. To be involved in a monumental operation like this is certainly a highlight of one's career."