NEW YORK, NY - It's the little things that Patrick Hardison enjoys the most. He can now drive his children to school in the morning, he can swim in the pool, run his fingers through his hair, and blink his eyes.
It was only about a year ago, when the 42-year-old volunteer firefighter from Mississippi couldn't do any of those things. His face was severely disfigured.
Hardison suffered extensive facial burns after responding to a house fire in 2001. He lost his eyelids, ears, lips, hair and most of his nose.
All of that changed last year when Hardison underwent the most extensive face transplant ever performed. The surgery has given him his life back.
He said, "I'm doing great. I'd like to say that I'm the same old Pat. But that would not give enough credit to amazing the journey I've been through over the past year."
Monitoring Hardison's recovery over the past year, the medical team was amazed that his body didn't reject the transplant and that his eyelids continue to function normally.
Hardison enjoys being able to eat again and being able to travel with his family. He even says he can't wait to get back to work.
He explained, "Before the transplant, every day I had to get up and get myself motivated to face the world with all the scars, you know, the world would see. But today I don't do that. I don't get up and worry about people pointing and staring or kids running off crying. My life is great right now."
We can't wait to see what he is capable of next.