Joe DiMeo’s life changed forever in July 2018 when he was involved in a terrible car accident. He was driving home from work when he fell asleep and crashed his car. The car flipped over and caught fire. Joe was lucky to survive, but he had severe burns on more than 80 percent of his body.
He had to go through many surgeries and treatments to try to heal his wounds and restore his appearance. He lost his fingertips, his lips, and his eyelids. He had scars all over his face and body. He had trouble doing simple things like eating, dressing, or blinking. He felt sad and hopeless about his future.
But then he met a doctor who gave him a new chance at life. Dr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez and his team at NYU Langone’s Face Transplant Program offered Joe a rare and risky surgery. They would transplant a donor’s face and hands onto Joe’s body. This would be the first time in the world that someone would get a face and double hand transplant at the same time.
Joe agreed to the surgery, which took place in August 2020. It was a very long and complicated operation that lasted for 23 hours. The doctors had to carefully connect the blood vessels, nerves, muscles, bones, and skin of the donor’s face and hands to Joe’s body. They also had to give Joe powerful drugs to prevent his body from rejecting the new organs.
The surgery was a success, and Joe woke up with a new face and new hands. He was amazed by how different he looked and felt. He had to go through months of rehabilitation and therapy to learn how to use his new face and hands. He had to practice smiling, talking, moving his fingers, and gripping objects. He also had to deal with the emotional and psychological impact of having someone else’s face and hands.
But Joe was determined to make the most of his second chance at life. He worked hard to recover and adapt to his new situation. He was grateful to the donor and his family for their generous gift. He was also thankful to the doctors and nurses who helped him along the way.
Three years after his incredible operation, Joe DiMeo has come a long way in his journey to recovery. He has adjusted to his new face and hands and has regained the ability to perform daily activities independently, such as feeding and dressing. He has also resumed the activities he loved before the accident, such as lifting weights and playing golf.
Joe’s amazing story inspired many people around the world, including Jessica Koby, a nurse from California. She heard about Joe’s surgery on the news and decided to contact him on Instagram. She sent him a message of support and encouragement, and they started chatting online.
They soon realized that they had a lot in common, especially their love for Boston Terriers dogs. They decided to meet in person, and they felt an instant connection. They fell in love and decided to start a relationship, even though they lived far apart.
Jessica was impressed by Joe’s positive attitude and courage in facing his challenges. She found him gentle, kind, brave, and wise beyond his years. She also enjoyed having deep and meaningful conversations with him. She found him very attractive inside and out.
Jessica decided to move to New Jersey to be closer to Joe, and they moved in together with their two Boston Terriers.
Joe is happy with Jessica and feels lucky to have her in his life. He is optimistic about his future and hopes to inspire others with his story of resilience and hope.