Doc: Face transplant patient making good progress

In this picture provided by the Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology in Gliwice, Poland, a 33-year-old Polish man whose face was torn off by stone-cutting machinery is shown after undergoing a total face transplant. (AP Photo/Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology in Gliwice)
In this picture provided by the Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology in Gliwice, Poland, a 33-year-old Polish man whose face was torn off by stone-cutting machinery is shown after undergoing a total face transplant. (AP Photo/Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology in Gliwice)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A surgeon who operated on Poland’s first face transplant patient says the man is already practicing swallowing and making sounds.

The 33-year-old man received a skin-and-bone transplant on May 15, three weeks after losing his nose, upper jaw and cheeks in a workplace accident. Doctors say it was the world’s fastest time frame for such an operation.

Dr. Maciej Grajek told The Associated Press on Monday the man is practicing to swallow liquids, has gotten out of bed a few times this weekend, communicates through writing and can make sounds when his tracheotomy tube — which helps him breathe — is closed for a moment. Grajek called that “very good progress.”

The patient remains in isolation to guard against infections.

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