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1st face transplant patient dies

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LILLE, France (AFP) – The world’s first face transplant recipient, Frenchwoman Isabelle Dinoire, died in April “after a long illness”, a French hospital said Tuesday.

In 2005, at the age of 38, Dinoire received a graft comprising the nose, lips and chin of a brain-dead donor to replace parts of her face that had been mauled by her dog. The hospital in Amiens, northern France, confirmed the death of “Mrs D, the first patient in the world to receive a face transplant in an operation carried out by Professor (Bernard) Devauchelle and his teams on Nov 27, 2005.”

The hospital said her death had been kept quiet to protect her family’s privacy. Le Figaro newspaper reported that Dinoire’s body had rejected the transplant last year “and she had lost part of the use of her lips.” The drugs that she had to take to prevent her body from rejecting the transplant left her susceptible to cancer, and two cancers had developed, the report said.