Bodman Pomahac (graduate of Palacky University), a leading medical surgeon, led the first full facial transplant in the USA. Since then he has gone on to perform numerous groundbreaking surgical operations that have saved many lives. He has worked tirelessly, always pushing forward and challenging situations, to become one of the world’s most successful surgeons.
When Bodhan was just thirty four years of age he encountered a patient who had a horrible burn injury due to falling face first on an electric rail at a station. Pomahac performed thirteen surgeries in order to reconstruct the patient’s face. Despite hours of hard work, conventional surgery had its limitations and the patient still didn’t have speech and certain features.
Two years later, Pomahac saw the world’s first facial transplant by French surgeons. He was amazed by the results. Pomahac knew then that he wanted to perform these types of surgical operations to help people live their lives.
He said “We take it for granted that you in the morning look briefly at your face and fix your hair or whatever, but you interact the entire day with other people and you’re used to just normal reactions,” Pomahac said. “These [face transplant] patients are used to these horrified looks and isolation. They can’t eat outside. They drool. They can’t smell. You kind of realize that the life without [a] face is essentially social death.”
In order to perform these facial transplants, Pomahac had to persuade Harvard’s teaching hospital to embrace a new procedure, along with speaking to organ donor agencies to persuade people to donate their deceased loved ones faces. He also assembled a team of surgeons, doctors and nurses to facilitate these procedures and finally, after two years, the hospital finally approved the first facial transplant.
His innovative spirit, resilience and quiet determination, has been a running theme throughout his life. He studied in the Czech Republic at Palacky University and before he left university, he knew he wanted to work in the the USA, with cutting edge medical practices. He knew he would have a major challenge ahead of him – learning all of the different medical terminology and a different way of working.
Pomahac puts his success down to dedication, hard work and also the comprehensive and world class education offered by his alma mater Palacky University in Olomouc.
Having a clear vision from the outset and working out how you will get there is important. Pomahac has shown that regardless where you’re from you can overcome obstacles and achieve your ambition. Bodhan Pomahac is without a doubt a living medical great!
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