You may have heard the news already about the extraordinary face transplant performed by the amazing doctors at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. It was the most extensive transplant of its kind in the world to date, including new skin from scalp to neck, a new jaw, tongue, teeth, muscle and tissue.
With the help of federal funds that I supported, the doctors at Maryland have been working for more than 10 years on perfecting face transplant techniques. The funds were given to the Department of Defense's Office of Naval Research, which hopes to apply the research to troops wounded by explosives. I have great hope that some of these heroes will come to Maryland for their treatment.
Stories like this one only serve to deepen my appreciation and support of Shock Trauma. They save thousands of lives each year and train our combat medics before they deploy. It's no secret that the doctors and nurses at Shock Trauma saved my life after a near-fatal car crash in the 1970s, when I was working as a prosecutor for Baltimore County. I continue to serve on Shock Trauma's Board of Visitors and am its Number One cheerleader in Congress.
I want to congratulate each and every one of the 150 doctors, nurses and professionals from Shock Trauma who had a hand in this ground-breaking transplant. They are our hometown heroes. Way to go!