We’ve covered her before. Isabelle Dinoire, a French woman mauled by her dog received a allograft transplant on November 27th, 2005.
In a press conference before scores of journalists and television cameras, Isabelle Dinoire, 38 – whose name had previously been kept secret under French law – said she was making good progress since the ground-breaking surgery, and hoped to return to work. “Since my operation I have a face, like everyone. I will be able to resume a normal life,” she said.
Dinoire, wearing a black top and pink cardigan, paid tribute to the family of the donor who had given its consent to the graft, and to the surgical team that carried out the operation. “My operation will enable others to live again,” she said.
The November 27 operation was conducted by Bernard Devauchelle, a professor of facial surgery at the Amiens hospital. He worked with Jean-Michel Dubernard, a surgeon at the Edouard Herriot hospital in Lyon and a French deputy, who performed the world’s first hand transplant in September 1998, followed by the first double hand and forearm transplant in January 2000.
The team that carried out the transplant said on Monday that it asked the French health authorities for permission to carry out five similar operations in the future. “We want to launch these new techniques to give hope to other people all over the world,” said Jean-Michel Dubernard, a surgeon at the Edouard Herriot hospital in Lyon and a French deputy, who helped lead the surgical team.
Given the sensitivity of the issue, it seems good that she was kept away from the public eye for some time. After the psychological stress of the injury and receiving part of a donor’s face, a horde of photographers would have been pretty onerous. Of course, she’s bound to be on Oprah any day now.