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Grieving Widow Misses Husband's Face, Then She Sees It On Someone Else

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Lilly Ross

A  woman reunited with the face of her late husband, following a successful face transplant surgery.

Sixteen months after Andy Sandness' life changing operation, he met with Lilly Ross, the woman who had donated her high school sweetheart, Calen "Rudy" Ross's visage.

The Mayo Clinic arranged a meeting between the pair, the same hospital where Sandness underwent his 56-hour surgery, the Associated Press reports.

Reaching out to touch his cheeks, Lilly saw a hairless spot on his chin, something all too familiar to her.

"That's why he always grew it so long, so he could try to mesh it together on the chin," she said.

In 2006, Sandness survived a suicide attempt when he shot a rifle below his chin. Nearly a decade later, Rudy would shoot himself in southwestern Minnesota, ending his life.

Sandness' injuries left him with a quarter-sized mouth, vision loss, and a prosthetic nose which never stayed in place.

In 2012, the Mayo Clinic began to establish a face transplant program. Four years later, Sandness would be wait-listed for the operation in hopes to gain a higher quality of life.

Five months later, Sandness' doctor phoned him, saying they found a potential match.

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