- By Dennis Douda
Mayo’s first face transplant patient meets donor’s family
"Thank you so much." It is a heartfelt message Andy Sandness has been eager to deliver personally ever since becoming Mayo Clinic's first face transplant recipient in 2016. His opportunity finally arrived recently, when he met the widow of his donor, Lilly Ross. She was every bit as eager to see and hear for herself the difference her late husband's gift was able to make in Sandness' life.
Reporter Dennis Douda and videographer Andy Shilts were there for the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (4:20) is in the downloads. Read the script.
Sandness has started a trust fund in honor of his donor to benefit Rudy and Lilly Ross' son, Leonard. He and Lilly also hope to help raise awareness about two causes that are important to them: organ donation and suicide prevention.