A severe gunshot wound to the face left Richard Norris living a reclusive life in Hillsville, Virginia for around 15 years. Now, at 39 years old, Norris has become an active member of his community after a successful 36 hour face transplant procedure.
The 1997 shotgun accident left Norris with little of his jaw remaining and in need of a prosthetic nose as he went about his daily business. His injuries were so extreme that Norris would only venture into public wearing a mask and maintained a reclusive lifestyle until his March 2012 transplant.
Despite living in constant fear of his body rejecting the transplanting organs used to create his new face, Norris now has a new outlook on life that has led him out of his life as a modern day hermit. Part of his new outlook includes pursuing an Online degree in Information Systems and working on a photographic book detailing his face transplant journey.
Although his new outlook on life has helped him develop a more positive personality, Norris does remain fearful the face transplant will be rejected by his body. Each day, he takes immunosuppressant drugs to reduce the risk of his new face being rejected by his own body.