The mundane process of looking in the mirror usually arouses no strong emotion, aside from the occasional fretting of blemishes and facial features outside the carefully defined standard of beauty. The mirror shines back a reflection that becomes accepted as a defining feature of one’s own personality. For some, the trials of life have literally ripped their face from them. Through trauma, disease and defects, an unfortunate few lock themselves away in their houses, too ashamed to withstand the stares and whispering that disfigurement has brought them.
Reconstructive surgery does extraordinary things for people who have survived extraordinary circumstances. As recently as twenty years ago, fires could permanently alter an individual’s way of life with little hope of improvement. Medicine constantly seeks to improve the quality of life that many people take for granted, a process I one day hope to immerse myself in. A painfully small number of facial transplants have been performed worldwide, proving that reconstructive surgery is a budding field of medicine that could benefit from innovative minds. By giving back one’s face, I hope to give someone back their life. I aspire to give them back their confidence, to sculpt them a profile that brings them pride, rather than shame and painful reminders.