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A year after full face transplant, Dallas Wiens feels almost 'normal'

A year after receiving the nation's first full face transplant, Dallas Wiens is now talking about defying the odds and the special moments he's shared with his daughter, including being able to feel her kisses. Msnbc.com's Stephanie Gosk reports.

NBC News

A year after becoming the first full face transplant in the US, Dallas Wiens has regained his sense of smell and can feel his daughter’s kisses.

"I am, as was one of my desires, able to feel my daughter's kisses now, which brought me to tears on more than one occasion," Wiens said Monday during a press conference in Boston with his transplant team of doctors.

Wiens of Fort Worth, Texas, was severely disfigured in 2008 when he came in contact with an active high-voltage power line.

Now, doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston  say he is recovering better than expected. He has prosthetic eyes, although he remains blind, and has trouble with his speech because he doesn’t have teeth. But he can use his face more than expected.

“Every time that we see him in the clinic he’s doing more things, feeling more sensation. He’s starting to smile and you can see his expressions on his face,” said chief of plastic surgery Dr. Jeffrey Janis.

He says he’s been able to resume an almost "normal" life. He is especially grateful for the time he can spend outside of the house with his daughter – without having to worry about the people staring at them.

“I go out all the time with my family, my friends, my little girl. I don't to worry about what anyone else is going to think. I’ve even been told by my family that I hardly get a second look,” said Wiens.

The Associated Press and WHDH Boston contributed to this report.

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