Behind The Scenes Of A Face Transplant | WBEZ
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Morning Shift

Behind The Scenes Of A Face Transplant

Read more about Katie Stubblefield's story in the September issue of National Geographic, or visit

A person’s face is their biggest identifier—think about it. Your face is on your driver’s license, your passport, your Facebook profile pic, in picture frames around the house. A face is the most public part of you. So how does a person function, operate in the world, without a face? Can they?

Enter Katie Stubblefield, who, at 18 years old, lost her face.

If you put your hands in front of your face, with your thumbs under your chin and index fingers between your eyebrows, you’ll get a sense of the amount of her face Katie Stubblefield shot off when she used her brother’s hunting rifle in an attempt to take her own life.

Now 21, Katie Stubblefield is the youngest recipient of a full face transplant, helping to advance this field of medical study and operation. The journey was documented for two years by National Geographic

Morning Shift talks to Joanna Connors, the author of “The Story of a Face” in  National Geographic, and Dr. Brian Gastman, Katie Stubblefield’s primary doctor and part of the team caring for Katie at the Cleveland Clinic.


Dr. Brian Gastman, Surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and Katie Stubblefield’s primary physician 

Joanna Connors, author of “The Story of a Face” NatGeo, a Cleveland Plain Dealer Reporter, and award-winning journalist


How a Transplanted Face Transformed Katie Stubblefield’s Life (National Geographic, September cover story)

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