When he was 22, Richard Norris was shot in the face, destroying his features and forcing him to live like a hermit for many years before receiving the world’s most extensive face transplant.
Now, two years after the surgery that changed his life, Norris has joined the likes of Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling on the pages of US men’s magazine GQ.
The now 39-year-old from Virginia has posed for the latest issue of the magazine and shared his story of undergoing a 36-hour groundbreaking operation.
After a drunken gun accident rendered him deformed, Norris lived like a recluse fifteen years until talented facial reconstructive surgeon Eduardo Rodriguez agreed to give him a new face.
The operation, which took place in 2012, took 36 hours and transformed Norris completely.
“It’s hard not to stare. Before, people used to stare at Richard because he wore a mask and they wanted to see the deformity,” Dr Rodriguez told GQ.
“Now, they have another reason to stare at him, and it’s really amazing.”
Since the operation, Norris has received thousands of fan letters – one of them from his now-girlfriend.