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Hello Reddit, it's nice to be back again to answer another round of awesome questions from you all. I have done 3 othet AmAs over the last 10 years and I figured its about time for another.

To make a long story short, I was hit with a power line. It's a pretty shocking story that ends with me getting a full face transplant.

I was a passenger in a pickup truck and the driver lost control around an S turn, hitting a utility pole. When the female passenger came in contact with one of the downed lines, I apparently tried and succeeded in saving her life, only to be hit with the same line. I was hit with 10,000 volts, 7 amps for 5 mins. The electricity entered my left leg, went through my body, and exited my face. I suffered a left below knee amputation, minor and major electrical blowouts throughout my body, in full thickness burns to the face.

I've had over 67 reconstruction surgeries on my face, multiple done on my body, and finally a full face transplant. Altogether I had over a hundred surgeries!

It's been 20 years since the accident and almost 10 years since the face transplant - ask me anything you want Reddit I'm an open book.

Proof ABC news Brigham &Women's CBS News

Comments: 210 • Responses: 85  • Date: 

okyknotok245 karma

After 10 years, when you look in mirror, does the face you see register as “you”, or as a different person’s face? In other words, has your mind gotten used to seeing the different race that its own perception of “self” has changed.

MitchHunter511 karma

Tbh, since the initial swelling went down, I could see myself. Your bone structure is what makes you look like "you" and not the soft tissue.

fratking107 karma

Wow that’s crazy interesting. Did the color seem close to what it was?

MitchHunter211 karma

Hair color and skin color were almost identical!

LordMorio18 karma

Wow, so Face/off got it all wrong.

MitchHunter7 karma

Face off should have been called brain swap because I totally just switch bodies Hollywood just made it look like a face transplant.

Sgt-Sucuk180 karma

How does the new face feel? Do you have full feeling about it?

MitchHunter297 karma

100% full sensation.

FoggyForestFreak96 karma

Really!? That’s amazing!

MitchHunter138 karma

Yeah, Im still amazed at how well it all turned out!

HotSauceHigh50 karma

Weird question but... How is kissing?

MitchHunter120 karma

Quite normal tbh, doesn't feel any different. The fact I cant animate my lips fully doesn't seem to affect my kissing.

DesmusMeridias27 karma

Haha u shoulda said just the "tip"

Of my nose that is

MitchHunter20 karma

Word!

sammyasher21 karma

wait that's insane, really? Like, feels like before, same resolution and variety of sensations? You can locate where things feel, etc? I didn't realize nerves could heal/bond to that level of accuracy

MitchHunter72 karma

Yeah, I'm even impressed. Hell, the pain receptors in my lips and nose are actually more sensitive than before. They only attached 3 nerve endings to the face, the rest was regeneration for lack of a better term.

They use very fine filaments to test sensation and im damn neat at pre-accident sensation. You take a piece of string and tickle my face with it, i can tell you exactly where it is on my face.

need_more_paella101 karma

Hey man. I remember you from some old facebook groups/communities way back ago. I believe I still have you as a friend on FB but I don't use that anymore. How are you doing overall? Do you still have to check in with the hospitals often?

Not much of an IAmA question, but thought i'd check in given the chance. Hope you're all well.

MitchHunter113 karma

Things are getting better since last year, thats for sure. Kind of glad you missed all my self destructing on FB lol.

Yeah i still have to check in from time to time. Currently in the hospital for an infection in my amputated leg.

Hope all is well with you too!

SCD59219 karma

I can only imagine what kind of self destructing happened. What would you say was the most helpful thing to you emotionally through all of this? What was the hardest thing emotionally? What advice would you give to someone going through the same thing that you never got?

MitchHunter39 karma

the most helpful thing I ever did was drop my pride and accept I couldn't do this on my own which was also in the hardest thing for me to do.

My advice would be not to internalize everything get it out while you can don't let it Fester

mantist0boggan11 karma

[deleted]

MitchHunter3 karma

Hoped you are too

DramaticGift63 karma

How is your new face aging? Do you have to keep going in for more surgeries and checkups specifically face transplant related?

MitchHunter82 karma

I still look pretty similar to when i got it 10 years ago, so def aging slower. Yeah, I'll always have to have routine checkups from time to time, rejection is still a risk too. I haven't had a surgery since my last AmA but prob could use a couple small revision surgeries.

Justanun31 karma

This is something I didn’t even think about! What will the ageing process be like for you? Has there ever been a conversation in what happens/ how it works?

MitchHunter64 karma

They honestly don't know yet as its undiscovered territory. My face may never age or it may age slower. My appearance hasn't aged much since everything with the face settled down. Its been almost 10 years too.

Justanun24 karma

I really hope things will stay better for you. Hopefully no rejection and life can be the best it can be for you.

MitchHunter18 karma

Thank you!

DramaticGift17 karma

What has been the most irritating thing about recovery?

MitchHunter55 karma

Not being able to speak properly at first. Always having to repeat myself. Hell, I still kind of talk funny.

ALoudMeow16 karma

What would happen if your body rejected the transplant? I can’t imagine them being able to remove it or you living with it removed? What have the doctors told you?

MitchHunter28 karma

If I ever lose the face, they would just graft skin from my body to cover it up. I would go back to looking like a zombie. Google my name for pics of zombie me.

GregHolmesMD3 karma

Damn science/modern medicine is amazing. First they transplant a whole face onto you and if your body rejects that they'll just take skin from other parts of your body as replacement. If you'd tell this to someone like 100 or even 50 years ago they'd probably call you a witch, insane or both lol

MitchHunter2 karma

They were doing skin grafts early as World War II I think.

carltheawesome61 karma

What would you most like to tell us that no one ever asks about?

MitchHunter165 karma

I wish i could tell everyone who may ever possibly meet me that I can't do big teeth showing smiles. That it's hard for me to show full expression in my facial features. Over the years its been hard to meet new people because of this.

People think im emotionless because I cant fully animate my face and this has hindered a lot of new relationships from forming properly.

theblobbbb29 karma

Yeah, that must be tough. So much of how we communicate is non verbal. It must be a challenge when internally you are being expressive and responsive but your face is not being co-operative. Do you think that fact has changed the way you communicate?

MitchHunter46 karma

Yeah, i don't communicate/talk as much, especially with people I don't know. I'm more quiet in person.

I try to meet people online, then later in person. I then can explain myself better so the first in person impression is better.

The few people who got past that awkward first impression without meeting me online have admitted they thought I was "weird" based off their first impression.

MitchHunter23 karma

Awesome question!

okyknotok55 karma

Curious about the donor face. What happened to him? Any contact with donor face’s family? Have you seen photos of donor when he was alive?

MitchHunter215 karma

I am not allowed to say what happened to him unfortunately as he is the true hero to this story.

I have met his family and have seen pics of him. Anytime i go to Boston. I meet up with his family to hang out. His little sister and I go at like siblings during football season too. Her being a Patriots fan and myself a Colts fan, we get pretty cutthroat lol.

I look nothing like him.

James_H_M55 karma

No one as responded to this comment for the 8 hours it sat. I am just glad the donors family and yourself are in contact with one another. I myself, would find it very hard initially to face the kin of my donor. I take it that it has been 10 years since the donation, you have become somewhat surrogate family members and/or friends?

I myself am an organ donor and plan to donate my body to science upon my death. I hope the best/worst of me helps others with their lives; either it be for improving another's live or the education of others. Have you considered the same?

MitchHunter77 karma

Our first meeting was very emotional, i think everyone in the room cried except for my surgeon. I was told he cried later.

I honestly do look at them as family and have called them my Boston family.

Thank you for being a donor, you're a real hero! I am a donor myself too but haven't fully donated my body to science. I imagine they could learn a lot from me though.

BitterPillPusher219 karma

Does the donor's family say you look like him now? And as a registered and vocal donor myself, I hope everyone who reads your story registers as a donor and makes their wishes known. We lost my beloved dad 8 years ago and donated his organs - what we could, anyway, as he was older and in poor health. He never specifically talked about donation, but he was such a generous soul in life, that we couldn't imagine him not wanting to do the same in death. We've never been contacted by any of the families who were recipients, but I would love to be. But I don't know if people who receive things like corneas ever even get that information. Anyway, sorry I hi-jacked your post. I'm glad you're doing well.

MitchHunter37 karma

The only resemblance they see is in the nose.

No, thank you for the hijack I wish everyone could read what you wrote about being a donor. Organ donation change my life but my organ donor saved 15 other lives with his vital organs. Over the years I've tried to get as many people as I can into become organ donors.

carlosx86-6451 karma

Do you keep in contact with the woman you saved?

MitchHunter57 karma

We still talk from time to time.

When_Ducks_Attack20 karma

What sort of injuries did she get from the whole event?

Did you end up with dental issues from all that voltage?

MitchHunter37 karma

Her foot had third degree burns.

It fried the nerve endings in my teeth so i cant feel a cavity forming.

carlosx86-642 karma

Your very brave.

MitchHunter4 karma

I was dating her older sister at the time hell I'll be honest I was cheating on my girlfriend with her older sister at the time. So it was funny that the media painted me as a hero lol.

fratking47 karma

Have you seen anyone who hasn’t seen you since before the accident and didn’t know about the transplant, and have to convince them you’re you?

MitchHunter73 karma

Sort of. I use to work with a guy at a cold storage warehouse before the transplant. I ran into him a few years ago in a facebook group and had to convince him I was the real me, the one he knew.

lotusblossom6040 karma

How much did the surgery hurt after? And do you have to take medicine so your body won’t reject the new face?

MitchHunter59 karma

Tbh it wasnt as painful as I'd thought it would have been. Some of my reconstruction surgeries were 10x more painful.

Yeah, unfortunately.

mom_with_an_attitude14 karma

Are there side effects from the anti-rejection drugs you take?

MitchHunter36 karma

To many to list but the worst of them is the higher risk of getting skin cancer, lymphoma, ect.

thirty_40 karma

What did it feel like being electrocuted at such an intensity?

MitchHunter78 karma

I honestly don't remember a single thing in that moment or about 30 mins before it.

signuporloginagain27 karma

To follow up on this, what is your first memory after the accident?

MitchHunter163 karma

Waking up 27 days later in the hospital, looking over and seeing my bio mom and step mom talking, civilly. That's when I knew shit was fubar.

I then said "where in the fuck am I at?"

CasualAdultery54 karma

Oh man, this speaks to me. If I ever wake up in a bed and both my parents are in the room talking, I will know shit has well and truly hit the fan.

MitchHunter53 karma

Yeah I was like oh shit this is deep

BoiledMeatloaf29 karma

That is a lot of pain and trauma. How did you—and how do you cope?

MitchHunter78 karma

Self medicated both the mental and physical pain for years which is never the answer. I also did what the military taught me - soldier the fuck on.

The physical pain was only temporary though minus the phantom pains in my amputation.

Im now active in therapy to deal with the mental shit and just had a revision surgery on my amputated leg to help with the pain in it.

I plan on getting into pain management if all else fails.

Really though, having a kick ass sense of humor through it all helped the most

throwinitallawai3 karma

Yeah having that “soldier on” mentality (not military, but military parent) added with the feeling that I’m the one who helps people, not the one who needs help....

It’s a bad combo that led to years of progressive loss of happiness and ultimately some tangible losses as well.

Glad you have a therapist and it is helping. It is so nice to have someone who knows the tricks minds play to help guide you though your own. Perceived circumstance can be so far off of what’s really happening.

MitchHunter1 karma

Yeah man it surely didn't help at all and I'm glad I finally got into therapy. It's nice having my mind back. The mind is a tricky Bitch if you let it get its way.

statikuz28 karma

7 amps for 5 minutes? How does that not kill someone?

MitchHunter140 karma

Use science to explain it - no carbon life survives it.

A miracle is the only explanation.

I did flat line twice and ironically they brought me back with a defib.

It's like "Don't you think I've had enough electricity for one day?"

"CLEAR!"

BitterPillPusher214 karma

Along these same lines, has this incident changed you spiritually? Like did you not really believe in God before but do now?

MitchHunter55 karma

I grew up Lutheran Christian and became agnostic in the Army. After my accident I became really angry with my creator you started acting like an atheist when I really wasn't. Like always try to convince people he didn't exist when I knew he did. But every single time I thank him for saving my life I break down in happy tears and feel his grace.

Lately I've been spreading the word of him but I am not a Christian I am not Catholic I'm not Muslim I have my own personal relationship with my creator and that's all I need. I don't shove my beliefs down people's throat. i simply tell you what I believe in and let you go from there.

Sorry for the typos that was voice to txt

TacoStorms3 karma

Not to discredit you but atheist don't act like "atheist" in the sense that they try to discredit god(s). To me, people who try discredit god in that way are just as religious as they feel the need to spread their beliefs. I find a lot of people who act that way are actually religious, they're just not accepting it at that point in their life.

Someone who is an atheist, like myself, never have god(s) enter into their thought process. Like if something were to happen, good or bad, I never think, "oh, God has done this." I just think, " oh, that was or wasn't fortunate." It's just not something that occurs and when I witness something like your post, I'm like "oh yeah, people believe in gods."

I just wanted to say something in case you felt guilty for being angry at your god because I think even with that feeling you still believed.

MitchHunter2 karma

You misunderstood me I fully believed but pretending to be an atheist. I was pissed off so I try to get people not to believe. Don't get me wrong I'm not a Bible humper either.

midiocre1282 karma

Not to sound rude or krass but has it never occured to you to take your life? Just to avoid the pain and the hardship you knew must follow?

Edit: looking through other posts I've kinda found the answer. So you tried to cope on your own and finally realised only professional psychological therapy will help you out. What event made you admit to it? Was it a click-like moment or was it a steady downwards process when you finally realised to step on the break?

MitchHunter4 karma

That's not harsh or rude, I have multiple attempts. Some of those attempts would have killed an elephant but the reason I'm still here. It wasn't until recently that I started cackling my mental health.

Almost giving up on the final stage of the game was a real eye-opener for me. I have a timeline now and that freak me out. But I'm going to leave out last few years living life to the fullest.

Throwawaybecause77773 karma

How bad was the pain? What was the most painful thing, specifically?

Sending you SO much love and light...and wishing you an amazing life!!

MitchHunter2 karma

The worst part was waking up after my leg got cut off, I literally woke up in tears and how to get a nerve block. It was probably the only time in my life I was at like a true 8.

Thank you, I need it!

midiocre1282 karma

Thanks for the reply and hats off to you! One strong mofo and a noble hero too if I might add. You deserve to spend those years as the happiest a person could be. I wish you the greatest of luck that it ain't just a couple years. Stay strong and all the love to ya <3

MitchHunter1 karma

Thank you!

Metalhart0027 karma

Has anyone ever made a really good joke about your accident, surgery, transplant, etc? Like a good natured joke that make you really, deeply laugh? I imagine you've had to develop a sense of humor about the whole thing.

MitchHunter35 karma

A lot of people have tbh haha. Jokes ranging from Freddy Kruger to Rocky Dennis. The good light hearted ones as well as the ones seeded in the worst dark humor possible have made me laugh. I developed a sense of humor very early on!

bononobonbon24 karma

I noticed in your post you said you were in a „shocking“ accident where you were hit by a powerline. Would it be right to assume you like a good pun too?

MitchHunter67 karma

That would be correct.

I also have a prosthetic. These things are expensive these days. They charge you an arm and a leg, literally.

That one goes over better when said in person.

bononobonbon13 karma

Haha I feel kind of morbid for chuckling at these but I can’t deny a good pun

MitchHunter29 karma

Mu dark and morbid sense of humor has kept me "sane" over the years. I learned to laugh at myself early on after the accident. Was either that or let the depression take hold 100%.

-Vampyroteuthis-11 karma

I have a friend that was shot and is in a wheelchair now. He says the same thing. His jokes make some people uncomfortable, but I'm glad he's kept his sense if humour.

MitchHunter10 karma

See I put my dark sense of humor on my Facebook so I make thousands of people uncomfortable at a time haha

BathFullOfDucks5 karma

Which a team character do you like best and why is it face?

MitchHunter8 karma

That's actually one of my nicknames now lol.

Face

Some people have tried to call me Peg Leg but I shut that down.

But I feel like I haven't watch The A-Team enough to answer this properly

Mr_Bear_Loves_You21 karma

This may be silly, but is your beard the same as it was before? Or did your beard change? Did your beard get more full, or more thin??

MitchHunter99 karma

Lol this is a great question. At 21 when i got in the wreck, I was barely growing a mustache let alone a beard. Shitty beard genetics.

The donor gave me my first beard ever.

Wanna know whats really trippy, our hair color was identical. My donor was also born on the same day as my older brother. My face is 1 year and 2 weeks older than i am and is still a libra like me.

neonblue361217 karma

Is there anything you’d do differently looking back?

Is there anything you learnt that surprised you?

MitchHunter54 karma

I would have tackled my mental health right after the accident. Not taking care of mental health has had some negative impacts on my life but nothing that cant be fixed.

Its awesome learning the new ways they are tricking the immune system to make rejection and other risks, less risky.

neonblue361215 karma

That’s really interesting to hear. Are you a medical person btw?

What’s your next challenge?

MitchHunter33 karma

Beating cancer! Figure if a power line didnt work, this wont either haha.

neonblue361219 karma

Best of luck, you’re attitude and openness is truly remarkable.

MitchHunter23 karma

I try to keep a sense humor about everything! Thanks!

okyknotok17 karma

How do romantic partners react when informed? How quickly After meeting somebody who might be of a romantic interest do you inform the person of the face transplant?

MitchHunter63 karma

The Romantic partner I had at the time of thr transplant was very supportive. Most of the ones I've had since were surprised at first, a few didn't believe me right away too.

I've had a few girls not want to date me because of if.

I typically wait until they ask about my scars then i break the ice with a good Joker line "So you wanna know how I got these scars"

Beezus14517 karma

Is your life anything like the movie ‘Face Off’?

MitchHunter25 karma

My criminal record might rival Castor Troys...

See my reply about wishing I had tackled my mental health from the get go haha.

amberlytheagent13 karma

Wow! You are so brave and so kind to do this AMA!

Do you ever lick your lips and say to yourself that you’re licking a deceased persons lips? Or another mans lips?

Did you take on any personality traits of your donor? I’ve heard of organ recipients beginning to like the same music their donor liked or craving the same foods the donor liked.

MitchHunter19 karma

The thought only crosses my mind when someone mentions it lol. The face feels like I was born with it so even when it does cross my mind, it doesn't bother me.

Not that i know of, though i dont know much about him. I may have to come back to this comment and give you a better answer after speaking with his family.

StrawberryKiller7 karma

I am totally fascinated how your nerves were able to regenerate and feel sensations like before your accident.

You’ve been through more trauma than most of us will ever be able to wrap our heads around. Has it given you a new perspective on life either good or bad?

I’m curious about the girls life you saved was she being electrocuted when you saved her?

Did you wake up in an ICU? Were your doctors and medical staff surprised you survived? I can’t even imagine. The fact your brain is still in tact is nothing short of a miracle. Wow.

MitchHunter9 karma

It's taught me that everything isn't about me, ive become less selfish over the years. I learned a hard lesson of humility this past year too!

From what I was told, she was.

I woke up in a burn unit which is basically an icu for burn victims. Everyone who has heard my story has been surprised I survived.

My entire body should have evaporated tbh.

tracydot34 karma

Do you have any theories as to why you surived something that should have killed you? Like maybe you have a special purpose on earth? Also have you developed any special abilities you didn't have before?

I heard a podcast with people who were struk by lightening and they had an increased psychic awareness and were able to perceive things that they never did before like spirits and having dreams that predict the future. And some of these people did not believe in the paranormal prior to being struck by lightning. Have you had any otherwordly experiences since your accident that you are comfortable talking about?

MitchHunter13 karma

I did die that day then got put in a holding cell while God in Lucifer had a conversation about me. God didn't want me and Lucifer was afraid I'd take over so they put me back on Earth!

Unfortunately I have not gained any superpowers other than extreme sarcasm and killer sense of humor that got me through looking like a zombie.

classic_wj12 karma

Does it hurt when people touch your face? Is it loose?

MitchHunter25 karma

It does not and i could use for lack of a better term, a face lift, to tighten it up a bitl. But its not noticeably loose.

ilovechairs9 karma

Happy to hear an update from you! Glad the face is treating you well and your beard is beautiful. What new hobbies/coping mechanisms/adventures have you learned over the years?

MitchHunter16 karma

I've earned that 1 bad coping mechanism can ruin 100 good ones. Almost self destructed this past year to the point of no return...

Willporker8 karma

what's your favourite Nick cage quote?

MitchHunter10 karma

I can eat a peach for hours

wheresmehredstapler8 karma

How much did this all cost to do? Obviously most people would agree it's invaluable to have a face and the price most would pay anything they could. Are you in severe debt? (I'm assuming you're in the USA.)

MitchHunter12 karma

Millions, funded The Department of Defense. Im still 1000s in medical debt because they stopped covering my aftercare a few years ago.

shag3777 karma

Do you take anti rejection medications? If so, how often do you have checkups with the MD staff?

MitchHunter14 karma

I do and I get labs drawn quarterly. I also go in anytime I suspect organ rejection.

shag37714 karma

What are symptoms of rejection? My son has a rare and potentially deadly heart problem, and transplant surgery is always a possibility.

Edit: Thank you for your answer, and may you continue to thrive rejection free.😀

MitchHunter19 karma

Signs of rejection for a face transplant will differ from a heart transplant but some common signs among all can be fever and swollen lymph nodes. Im not sure what symptoms would be specific to a heart transplant but for skin transplants, the transplanted skin will look like it has a mild sunburn that slowly turns more red.

crunkasaurus_7 karma

How has the experience changed you as a person?

MitchHunter20 karma

It's still changing me to this day to be quite honest. I've done a lot of self destructing over the years since the accident because I was too prideful to accept in needed helped psychologically. It wasn't until recently that i truly started to better myself.

Initially it did humble me a bit but over the years my arrogance and conceitedness crept back in.

I've learned a few hard lessons in humility this past year and am very thankful for it. I've been a real asshole my whole life and am disappointed it took 39 years for me to see that.

CleverNameIsClever7 karma

I see you've mentioned your struggles with mental health. If you don't mind, could you elaborate on this? How did your accident affect your mental health? What happened that got you to take your mental health seriously and seek treatment? What do you think has helped you the most in terms of mental health treatment? Any advice for others?

MitchHunter31 karma

I was diagnosed with PTSD and TBI after my accident, which back in 2001 at age 21, I was to arrogant to accept I need help mentally. So, in turn over the years I did a lot of self medicating and as you can imagine i developed a few addictions here and there. I've been addicted to alcohol, opiates, ans benzos. This went on til about year or so ago when I was diagnosed with benign skin tumors which freaked me out cause the meds im on put me at high risk. I became even more suicidal and self destructive. Started dating this crazy chick who was a huge meth dealer (allegedly) hoping Id somehow end ul dead.

Then i was diagnosed with copd type a and that somehow snapped me out of it. I got sober and found the right doctor because what I had been doing was giving up on final stage of the game. After cheating death in 2001 and fighting off suicidal ideations for years, I was ready to throw in the towel and thays just not who I am.

Went and got a psych evaluation and found the right psych doc for me, one who would listen more than just prescribe some ssri or snri that never helped but made shit worse. I found a team of 4 that took the time to listen and finally got put on the right meds. With their help i have and am unlearning a lot of the bad traits i developed as a kid up until now.

I haven't been this happy in over 20 years and am very disappointed in my younger self for not getting help earlier.

This is only a summary, it's way more complicated.

I think the therapy sessions where I do talk about things I've buried has helped more than any meds prescribed but I do take Zyprexa and Praisosin and they have been very beneficial for me.

My advice to anyone dealing with traumatic shit be it physical or mental, seek the help you need because doing it a lone never works. Find the right doctor for you! Seriously doctor shop the hell out of psych docs til you find one you like.

I still feel i haven't answered this fully

Rylyshar3 karma

Can’t upvote this one enough. Thank you for sharing your story, and for your wicked humor!

MitchHunter1 karma

Thank you!

WebWheat7 karma

What does it mean when people say “rejects”. So if your body rejects the new face does it mean that it just slides off? How does it work?

MitchHunter11 karma

I wish it would fall off like that! But no there are four stages of rejection and at stage four they would surgically remove the face and regraft skin from my body to my face. Id go back to looking like a zombie.

elephantz1007 karma

How has it affected your attitude to religion and spirituality?

MitchHunter21 karma

It truly has from being agnostic to becoming an atheist, to where I am now. Which is I don't follow 1 set religion, I have my own personal relationship with my creator. This is a hard question for me to answer honestly as im still learning what my place is with my creator.

ThaFresh6 karma

how did you possibly pay for all that with the health system you guys have over there?

MitchHunter6 karma

The Department of Defense covered it. I was in a BBC documentary called Frontline Medicine which explains why the DoD covered it. Basically with so many soldiers coming home with interfaces and missing limbs they started the face and limb transplant program to help give our troops and now or civilians more options than conventional surgery. Now if your face is injured or you lose a limb you have more options. I was the third one in the world to ever have it done so the first few of us took the risk so that you don't have to.

We also took some risk that make Guinea transplant in general a lot safer. There's less risk of rejection and developing cancer from the meds we take.

Cybergor6 karma

  1. How were your internal organs affected by the accident?
  2. How many medications do you have to take to survive?
  3. What do you work with today?
  4. Which are the most annoying/weird/rude questions you get?

MitchHunter4 karma

  1. To my knowledge, they weren't. Crazy huh. After all that nothing internal was damaged. Another "miracle."

  2. Upon waking up from a coma I have no idea what all they had me on. I was to fucked up to ask or care but even after I woke up 27 days later, I was still in the redzone.

  3. Currently i dont take anything to survive but if I stop taking my immunosuppression meds, Id lose the face. Must take Tacrolimus 3mg bid Mychophenolic acid 360mg tid Prednisone 5mg daily Prescribed Klonopin 1mg tid Lyrica 100mg tid Zyprexa 5mg bid Praisosin 1mg bed

  4. What's the donor look like now? Have you seen Face Off? You're here for a reason! Everything happens for a reason!

Cybergor3 karma

Yeah, that's pretty miraculous. The human body is pretty darn amazing. I'm glad you're here with us still! You seem like a great person, and I'm truly impressed with the results from what I saw on the internet.

I have personal experience with Zyprexa and I gained like 40 kg (88 pounds) of weight. Do you feel many serious side-effects from that many meds?

How do the immunosuppressants affect you during this corona pandemic?

Have you had to change your diet after the procedure?

Sorry for all the questions. You don't have to answer any of them.

MitchHunter2 karma

When I first got prescribed Zyprexa I was going to high prednisone taper and the combo did have some serious side effects but once I stop taking high doses of Prednisone it went away.

It puts me in a way higher risk especially with COPD type A.

Nope my diet has always been eat whatever is in front of me if it taste good!"

Never apologize for asking questions on a AMA bro, it's what I'm here for!

Scutterbum5 karma

What happened to your eyeballs? Did they get affected in the electrocution?

MitchHunter16 karma

My eyeballs are just fine which is a miracle all on its own. The electricity exited my face, you'd think that would have fried my eyeballs.

And my brain......

Scutterbum3 karma

Unbelievable and very lucky. I thought you might have fake eyeballs lol.

I just watched a few of your youtube videos. The doctors did amazing work.

MitchHunter12 karma

Im still impressed at how well it all turned out. Medical science is beautiful!

MCHammer6665 karma

Incredible ordeal and story OP, all things considered I’m stoked your outcome has been mostly positive

Did you have PTSD or anxiety around driving after the accident?

MitchHunter9 karma

Riding in a car with someone I don't trust or a stranger triggers my PTSD

tracydot34 karma

Thank you so much for sharing your story and taking the time to answer questions.

I am curious about being put to sleep before surgery. I want plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons but I'm scared of the risks of being put under. Are you used to it since you have done it so much or does it still scare you? What does it feel like? Do you just fall asleep and feel like you wake up seconds later? How do you feel right after you wake up from surgery?

MitchHunter5 karma

Going under anesthesia is nothing like sleep but the process of falling under is similar to falling asleep. Trust me you have nothing to fear. Expect to be in some pain upon waking up but it's no different than waking up from a deep sleep.

But anesthesia is nothing like sleep because it's basically disconnecting your brain from your body.

Megatheorist3 karma

How much of your identity is affected by your current face? Would you like to have your old face back?

MitchHunter6 karma

Tbh i look somewhat similar to how I would normally look. You're bone structure makes you look like you and of course id love to have my original face back.

I mean.

Im not even in my final form.

Megatheorist2 karma

I find it fascinating that you feel similar to your original form.

Would you volunteer to reconstruct your face even if the chances of survival are slim?

MitchHunter2 karma

Nah

scottsdalecunt3 karma

Does your face still produce oil and sweat??

MitchHunter2 karma

Yes, it does.

hannahftw3 karma

What did the majority of your surgeries consist of? Were they mostly full surgeries under general anesthesia or were they touch-ups under local anesthesia? How was it funded? Thanks for doing this AMA!

MitchHunter5 karma

The majority of the surgeries were the 67 reconstructive ones on my face under general anesthesia. LOL you could say I've had a lot of facials!

That and the leg amputation.

Flashmode13 karma

Do you ever get strange reactions when having to show differences in your IDs such as your drivers license?

MitchHunter3 karma

LOL this is a great question. When I first got in the accident I did not match my face at all and sometimes it wouldn't work. It took me forever to get a new one too because I was very scarred up and afraid to go in public.

Nowadays my ID looks like me though so no one can tell I'm just another face in the crowd that's all I ever wanted.

helloimbabydoll3 karma

Hi there, I'm so glad you are able to share your story and it's amazing how natural your face looks. You look really great !! :)

I was just wondering if you have lesser sensations on some parts of your face, or do you get problems of pimples and what not? Does the skin feel thicker then it did previously? Were there other areas of your body that had suffered nerve damage due to the accident?

Apologies if my questions are rather odd, my elbow shattered after a fall last year, and after 2 surgeries of inserting/ removal of puns and plates, part of my elbow have a significant, almost no sensation to it. Part of my 4th and punky finger still have lingering nerve damage too. Wondering if this was the same for your case.

Once again, thank you for sharing. Do take care and stay safe!

MitchHunter3 karma

I have full sensation over the entire face and I really don't get acne that much anymore. The face actually feels quite normal. The only place I have nerve damage is in my amputated lower left leg.

Thanks you too!

bspencer6262 karma

I think your story is really inspiring. Your approach to going through something so awful but maintaining a positive spirit really touches me. For what it’s worth, thank you.

On a pretty superficial level, how have you handled any anxiety or depression that may arise from your new appearance? I know that my skin is a huge area of concern for me, and there are days where it sort of takes all of the wind out of my sails if I feel like I look bad.

MitchHunter5 karma

To be honest the last 20 years I didn't handle it, I buried and that affection to this day. It wasn't until recently that I started tackling my mental health and I regret that I didn't do it 20 years ago. But believe me when I say it is never too late to work on your mind, because I was lost for a few years and I found myself again.

Imagine being 1y years old and going on your firstvdate and you have a huge fucking pimple on your face, times that by a thousand that's what it felt like to go outside for a while.

After the transplant I didn't mind how I looked, although I was still ugly it was a lot better than looking like a zombie.

When I was scarred up and I got used to it eventually start scaring kids and people in general. I had a lot of fun with the last five years of looking like a zombie

x_abyss2 karma

Hi, good to see that you're doing well.

I don't know if you're asked this already but are you still taking immunosuppressants? I'd assume that's common for any type of organ transplant. And if so, is there a dosage difference since you've had the procedure?

Thanks for doing AMA.

MitchHunter2 karma

Never worry about asking review questions I answer everybody's questions. I do still take immunosuppressant medications in the dosage changes all the time depending on my body, even to this day.

No problem and thanks for being a part of it!

adeiner2 karma

Assuming you're on immunosuppressants, have you been able to do much of anything these past few months? I was scared with a relatively healthy immune system, I can't imagine how it must have been for you.

MitchHunter1 karma

I've acted like nothing has changed and didn't take any extra precautions other than a mask and I'm totally fine. I was more concerned with my COPD Type then my immunocompromised state. I still feel like this covid shit was blown out of proportion.

adeiner2 karma

That’s good to hear, I’m glad you’re doing okay.

MitchHunter2 karma

Plus I figured dying from covid would suck less than copd. That helped me not freak out for some morbid reason.

lil_bacon182 karma

Obviously there is a risk factor when put under general anesthesia, but it’s very rare for a healthy person to not wake up from their surgery. Does it ever seem crazy to you that by having close to 100 surgeries done, you had more like a 1 in 1000 chance of not waking up from the general anesthesia?

MitchHunter2 karma

I'm good at beating the odds. The odds of surviving my accident is like the world population to 1as was told to me by an electrical engineer. An astrophysicist wants told me the odds of survival is the universe life as we know it to 1. He said all carbon life would not survive that. I don't know how true that is.

HokkaidoFox2 karma

Did you develop any sight problems because of this? Also, how would you describe the routine checkups?

MitchHunter1 karma

I still have perfect 20/20 vision And I see my team regularly. Although I haven't seen my Boston team in a while.

ucfknight921 karma

Do you often think what life would be like had you not saved her?

MitchHunter1 karma

Not in that sense but in the sense of fthe accident never happened.