NEW YORK CITY —
He is one of the youngest face transplant recipients in the world and one of the fastest to recover.
Cameron Underwood, 26, from northern California, undergoes a radical transformation just 18 months after nearly killing himself.
Underwood, struggling with depression, placed a pistol under the chin and pulled the trigger.
He did not think he had a second chance, but during a 25-hour surgery in New York, Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez performed a facial transplant, in which Cam, as he called, received a brand new lower face.
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It's a face that always says to feel like him.
"Most of the time, when we look in the mirror, we look in the eye," he says. "And my eyes are the same."
The remarkable family of a 23-year-old New Yorker named Will Fisher, who died as a result of a mental illness, had manifested himself.
The relationship with Dr. Rodriguez was only established after Cam's mother took a magazine and read it. She then reached out.
"I think people should not have the feeling that there is no hope," said Dr. Rodriguez. "This should not lead to isolation, this should not lead to isolation."
Underwood always comes back every month for his follow-up appointments and he follows a strict regime of anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life.
The main obstacles are now over and Cam is reaching new heights and proving that second chances can change lives forever.
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