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In an Associated Press story and a YouTube video last fall, Wiens spoke poignantly about why he wanted a transplant and how he wanted to smile again and feel kisses from his 4-year-old daughter, Scarlette. Face transplants give horribly disfigured people hope of an option other than "looking in the mirror and hating what they see," he said.
He told the AP that his daughter and his faith have kept him motivated. He repeated that Monday. "Even though I'm in amazing hands here," Wiens said, "I'm also in God's hands."
The surgery was paid for by the Department of Defense, which gave the hospital a $3.4 million research grant for five transplants.
About a dozen face transplants have been done worldwide, in the U.S., France, Spain and China.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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