Isabelle Dinoire died at the age of 49 in France, almost 11 years after making history for receiving the world’s first face transplant. Dinoire had suffered from two types of cancer in the most recent years due to the strong medication she received after the operation.
Back in 2005, Isabelle Dinoire made headlines and history for receiving the world’s first face transplant from a deceased donor. Dinoire had lost part of her face after an accident involving her pet dog.
The patient underwent the first face transplant at the Amiens Hospital in Franche at the hands of Professor Bernard Duvauchelle. However, Dinoire’s body had troubles accepting the exotic skin and rejected it a few times.
After the transplant ,Isabelle had to take a strong immunosuppressant drug that helped with the rejection problem and kept her face working correctly. But initial press reports have stated the drug made Dinoire very ill and could have contributed to the development of the cancer that appeared twice.
First, face transplant in the world
Isabelle Dinoire was a French woman living in the province of Valenciennes in northern France. Mother of two, Dinoire divorced her husband and was living a normal life but one day, after a long week, the woman took several sleeping pills “to forget” as she said, and felt asleep on her couch.
Hours later, the woman woke up and attempted to lit a cigarette but came to the realization that she was sitting in a pool of blood and half of her face was ripped apart. Dinoire’s pet labrador dog was lying close to her and had apparently become nervous about the unconscious women and mauled part of her face.
From her nose to her lips, Dinoire had severe injuries and rushed to the hospital, but doctors knew Isabelle’s case wasn’t an easy cosmetic procedure and had no chances of facial reconstruction.
Professor Bernard Duvauchelle, along with his team, decided to perform the world’s first facial transplant in history and embarked into a 15-hour surgery to give Mrs. Dinoire a new functional face.
The missing part of Dinoire’s face was supplanted from women who had died of brain damaged and registered as an organ donor. Duvauchelle and his team performed a triangular shaped cut on the donor’s skin and gave it to Dinoire, including a new nose, chin, and lips.
After the transplant, Isabelle received world attention and she ensured she wanted to succeed on like and try to live a normal life again after her terrible accident. However, it wasn’t easy to adapt to a different face mentally nor physically.
According to The Guardian, Dinoire described in a book that one of the most difficult circumstances was adapting to someone else’s face and mouth.
“It was odd to touch it with my tongue, it was soft. It was horrible,” reads the description.
Isabelle also learned after reading the British press, that the woman who had become her face donor committed suicide. Dinoire felt she had a connection with the deceased woman and referred to her as “twin sister” since they had both had suicidal thoughts and actions.
Le Figaro, a French newspaper, revealed that Dinoire passed away on April 22nd, but the information hadn’t been published out of respect for Isabelle’s family. BBC News reports that the strong anti-rejection drugs might play a major role in the development of Dinoire’s cancer and disease. However, this information remains uncertain.