The unforgettable moment a widow touched the face that once belonged to her husband

Saturday, 11 November 2017, 07:56:10 AM. Long after Andy Sandness became the Mayo Clinic's first face transplant recipient, he met his donor's widow.
Andy Sandness met the widow of the donor who allowed him to receive a face transplant. (AP) Lilly Ross was “terrified” but “excited” to meet the man who had been given her husband's face. Calen “Rudy” Ross had killed himself in 2016, but in death had given a gift to others — his lungs, his kidneys, his face. And although she admitted she probably wasn't quite ready, Ross braced herself to see a part of her husband that was living on. “You look really good,” she told Andy Sandness, embracing him like she had known him all her life. “Thank you so much,” he responded. As the two sat together in a hospital library, Ross reached out and touched the face that once belonged to her husband. “I'm going to close my eyes,” Sandness said. Lilly Ross, right, feels the face of Andy Sandness during their meeting at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. (Charlie Neibergall/AP) The young widow started to laugh, lightly stroking Sandness's beard. “It feels really good,” she said. The powerful moment was captured on video late last month at the Mayo Clinic. It was at that hospital where, more than a year ago, Sandness underwent a nearly 60-hour surgery, becoming the clinic's first face transplant recipient. Now he was back — meeting his donor's widow, face-to-face, for the first time. “When you first do something like this, it's just a big excitement to finally meet each other just to — I mean, the buildup is just so much,” Sandness said in a video released by the Mayo Clinic. “And then there's...Read more
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