Houston Social Security
Disability Attorney

Photo of David Dopkin
Photo of David Dopkin

Disfiguring injury ends in groundbreaking face transplant surgery

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2013 | Social Security Disability Benefits for Injuries

Few people here in Texas can imagine what it would be like to suffer a debilitating injury. To have your life changed in one heart-stopping moment seems like more of a nightmare than a reality. But for one man from Maryland that nightmare did become a nightmare—one that lasted nearly 15 years.

His near-fatal injury occurred in 1997 when a 12-guage shotgun accidentally discharged in his face, taking with it most of his face. He spent numerous weeks in the hospital as doctors struggled to save his life. But after seeing his face for the first time since the accident, the man explains that he felt like suicide was “the best option.”

As he explains in his recent book, he became reclusive and tried desperately to hide his face in public. Some people here in Texas can empathize with the man because they too have felt unable to venture into society because of a disabling injury. But a ground-breaking face transplant recently finally gave him his life back and he is using his own personal story to inspire others.

Along with many disabling injuries come unavoidable mental conditions such as depression and post traumatic stress disorder that can have lasting effects on a person. This could mean that a person is unable to work and therefore cannot provide themselves with a source of income. Though disability benefits can help in these situations, applications are often denied and require extensive appeals. Knowing that you can seek legal assistance in situations such as this can often be the additional support a person needs in order to get through a difficult situation and find hope in the end.

Source: ABC News, “Book Chronicles Face Transplant Recipient’s Transformation,” Katie Moisse, July 3, 2013