French face transplant woman pleads for privacy

7th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 7 (AFP) - The 38-year-old French woman who received the world's first facial transplant pleaded with the media to let her to recover in peace from the high-risk operation, in an interview published on Wednesday.

PARIS, Dec 7 (AFP) - The 38-year-old French woman who received the world's first facial transplant pleaded with the media to let her to recover in peace from the high-risk operation, in an interview published on Wednesday.

"I feel very well," she told the French newspaper Le Parisien. "Everything is fine, but I would like to send out a message: I have just had an operation, for the sake of my health, I need to live these moments in peace and quiet."

"At the moment, I feel shaken up. I also want my family to be left out of all this. They didn't ask to be thrown into the spotlight," she told the paper by telephone from the university hospital in the eastern city of Lyon.

She also said she thanked the whole team -- "from the cleaning lady to the nurses" -- who made the operation possible. "They are all wonderful."

The mother of two from the town of Valenciennes in northern France, lost both lips, her nose and chin after she was mauled by her dog in May, and was unable to speak or eat properly.

Doctors transplanted a nose, chin and mouth taken from a brain-dead donor on to her lower face at a university hospital in the northern French town of Amiens on October 27, a world first for an operation that carries high medical risks.

She is currently under medical observation in Lyon by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard, a transplant pioneer who carried out the world's first double hand graft five years ago.

Reports -- denied by her medical team -- that the woman was injured during a suicide attempt, have raised questions about her psychological ability to cope with the aftermath of the operation, which has drawn intense media attention.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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