‘Man with three faces’: Jérôme Hamon, who underwent two face transplants, dies aged 49

In 2018, he became the first man in the world to undergo a second face transplant. His doctor described him as “exhausted”.

Jérôme Hamon, the first man in the world to undergo two face transplants in 2010 and 2018 and thus have three different faces in his lifetime, died this week at the age of 49, we were told by consistent sources on Thursday.

“He died. He was exhausted at the end. I exchanged text messages with him a week ago,” Franck Zal, close to the family and a marine biology doctor, told AFP, confirming the information from Telegram.

His company developed the technology that made the transplant possible in 2018.

First transplant in 2010

“I want to testify to Jérôme’s strength, I asked him how he was able to resist all this,” added the scientist.

An obituary on the Ouest-France website states that Jérôme Hamon has died at the age of 49 and that his funeral will take place on Friday in Saint-Thégonnec (Finistère).

The transplant was carried out in 2018 by the team of Professor Laurent Lantieri at the European Hospital Georges-Pompidou of the Assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP). This plastic surgeon already performed the first full face transplant on the same patient in 2010 at the Henri-Mondor Hospital in Créteil.

Jérôme Hamon suffered from neurofibromatosis type 1 (von Recklinghausen’s disease), a genetic disease that distorted his face.

“His dream was to work”

The first transplant was successful, as he recounted in a book published in April 2015, “T’as vu le Monsieur?”. In the same year, however, during a common cold, he was treated with antibiotics incompatible with his immunosuppressive treatment. In 2016, he began to show signs of chronic rejection and his face deteriorated.

He was hospitalized in the summer of 2017 and had to have his transplanted face removed in November, which showed areas of necrosis. He will remain “faceless” for two months in intensive care at the Pompidou while the Biomedical Agency identifies a compatible donor.

The face donor will be a 22-year-old young man who died a few hundred kilometers from Paris. “His dream was to work again, he was a lover of books, but he was tired, he was not able to work again (after the transplant in 2018),” said Frank Zal, specifying that Jérôme Hamon lived in Finistère.

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