Categories: Canadian NewsOpinion

Man from Gatineau gets face transplant in Canada’s first operation of its kind

The story

Maurice Desjardins was in a hunting accident, seven years ago, when a bullet struck him in the face.

The native from Gatineau, Quebec, underwent multiple operations to try and fix the damage that occurred.  After several operations, doctors managed to stitch parts of his face back together.

Left with only two holes in the area where his nose used to be, Desjardins’ loss of his jaw meant that he was also breathing from an open hole in his face.

Tragically, Desjardins would walk around in pain, breathing from a hole in his trachea and drooling from not being able to close his mouth.  Because of the accident, Desjardins would often leave his house with a surgical mask around his face.  He also lost his roofing business.

The operation

With no other options, he was afforded one last opportunity.  A face transplant, a procedure that has never occurred in Canada.

Dr. Borsuk, a plastic surgeon from the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, in Montreal, would be the one to perform the facial transplant in Canada, and after years of five inadequate reconstructive surgeries for Desjardins, this is exactly what he needed.

There were several issues at hand that were, ultimately, life threatening.

One of the existential threats came from the notion of extreme blood loss on the operating table.  Alternatively, Desjardins could become fatally ill from his body rejecting the new tissue.  Lastly, there was a chance he could acquire a deadly cancer from the medicine his body would require for the procedure to be successful.

It took 12 hours just to get the lower half of Desjardins’ face off of him.

Only Desjardin’s upper eyelids, eyes, and forehead remained.  The next few hours were crucial in performing the face transplant.

A new chance at a normal life

The surgery necessitated more than a hundred technical, nursing, and support staff.  It also required an additional five anaesthesiologists, nine surgeons, and five years of planning.

Using today’s top of the line technology, the lead surgeon on the procedure, Dr. Borsuk, managed to fit the donor’s face on perfectly.

Desjardins would become the oldest patient ever to receive a face transplant, at 65-years-old.  He would now have a new chance at life, with his wife, and with new opportunities to spend time with his granddaughter.

Dr. Borsuk not only provided a man with a chance of a happier life, but also accomplished a successful 30-hour surgical feat never performed in Canada before.

For more information, watch this National Post video here:

Jonathan Wasserlauf

Jonathan is interested in the intersection between politics, pop culture, the media, and their audiences.

Published by
Jonathan Wasserlauf
Tags: Montreal

Recent Posts

  • Canadian News
  • Canadian Press
  • Culture
  • Saskatchewan News
  • Sports

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach who died in crash

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers in the late…

13 hours ago
  • American News
  • Canadian News
  • Canadian Press

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

A coalition of 40 members of the House of Representatives has written to the president to demand that the language…

14 hours ago
  • Canadian News
  • Opinion

Ad Standards Canada Censors Pro-Life Billboards in Contradictory Ruling

The contradictory nature of the rulings shows that it is not about the accuracy of the message, but about who…

14 hours ago
  • Business
  • Canadian Press

Canada Post asks for halt to international shipments as parcel backlog grows

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned last week his government will act to end the rotating strikes if there is no significant…

15 hours ago
  • Canadian Press
  • Ontario News

Backlog of illegal asylum claims has ballooned to over 28,000

New statistics from the Immigration and Refugee Board show over 5,000 new refugee claims were filed between July and September…

16 hours ago
  • Opinion
  • Politics

600% Increase in asylum claims from Americans since 2016

To date, more than 37,000 people have crossed the border illegally, been intercepted by the RCMP and brought in for…

17 hours ago