Sunday, July 8, 2007

Saving face :
PARIS -- A year and a half after receiving the world's first partial face transplant, Isabelle Dinoire said the operation has given her a normal life again, though she felt a part of her identity has disappeared.

'I have returned to the planet of human beings -- those with a face, a smile, facial expressions that let them communicate. I am alive again,' the Frenchwoman said in comments published Friday in Le Monde newspaper.

Dinoire was severely disfigured in May 2005 by her pet Labrador. In November 2005, surgeons grafted the lips, nose and chin of a brain-dead woman onto her face in groundbreaking surgery. ...

Dinoire said she has not yet found a job and that she continues therapy to improve the movement in her new features, saying she still has trouble pursing her lips for a kiss.

"As for this face ... it's not me," she told Le Monde. "It will never be me ... A part of me and my identity disappeared forever. And I have precious memories of what I was."

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