Pascal Coler, a modern-day Elephant Man, had his face horribly disfigured by Von Recklinghausen’s disease, a rare genetic disorder. In 2008, a team of French surgeons, headed by Professor Laurent Lantieri, gave him a new lease on life. The controversial operation, which involved replacing Mr. Coler’s face with that of a dead donor, took 16 hours. During the operation, tissues, nerves, arteries and veins were all attached to the patient’s face.
Mr. Coler described the day of his surgery as the happiest of his life.