“Beyond The Battlefield” is a 10-part series exploring the challenges that severely wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan face after they return home, as well as what those struggles mean for those close to them. Learn how you can help here. Other stories in the series can be found here. Listen to reporter David Wood discuss “Beyond The Battlefield” with NPR’s Terry Gross here.
Since 2005, when French surgeons performed the world’s first facial transplant, the Defense Department has funded all five full facial transplant operations for American patients. The procedure sentences the patient to a lifetime of immuno-suppression treatment. “Once they stop that medicine, whatever body part you gave them from somebody else will be rejected,” Dr. Robert G. Hale points out. Hale performed many of the dozens of surgeries on Army Staff Sgt. Todd M. Nelson’s face in San Antonio.
For more on this story, visit: Beyond The Battlefield: New Hope, But A Long And Painful Road, For Veterans Pulled From Death’s Grasp.