The Story of Dallas Weins
"You can choose to get bitter or you can choose to get better...I choose to get better..."-Dallas WiensWhile painting a church in 2008, Dallas’ head came into contact with a high-tension electrical line. He was immediately airlifted to Parkland Hospital, received in emergency, and admitted to the Burn Critical Care Unit. At that point, the doctors told the Wiens family that Dallas would not survive. Through his faith and tenacity, Dallas set out to prove them wrong.
As a result of the accident, Dallas was left without any facial features. The electrical line completely burned away his visage and left him with gaping wounds on his body and spinal cord injuries at the C-3, C-4, and C-5 vertebrae. After dozens of surgeries, the surgeons had reconstructed Dallas’ body to the point that they felt comfortable bringing him out of the medically induced coma that he had been in for three months. As soon as he came to, Dallas began the arduous road to recovery.
Spurred on by the desire to hold his two-year-old daughter Scarlette again, he learned to speak without the use of lips or teeth, threw aside his wheel chair despite being told he would not walk again, and opted for pushups and workouts in his hospital room during his free time instead of resting. Three months later, Dallas was out of the hospital and well on his way to returning to life before the accident. However, he was not satisfied.
After his plastic surgeon, Dr Jeff Janis, presented the life saving surgical procedure to his colleagues in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, he was introduced to the possibility of a full facial transplant. This rare and risky procedure had not yet been attempted in the United States. After tireless hours of research, hospital visits, testing and qualifying, he was placed on a waiting list for this groundbreaking procedure to be performed by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston .
As Dallas anxiously awaited the phone call that a donor had been found, he began seeking out ways to shine his light of hope into the lives of other tragedy survivors. It was to that end that The About Face organization was founded. Dallas set about the road to recovery while spreading his story to as many lives as he could. Then, on a day like any other, he got the call.
A team of 30 surgeons and hospital staff, led by Dr. Bohdan Pomahač, performed the almost 17-hour surgery, making history for the medical community. Thanks to their tireless effort, Dallas would be able to feel the kisses of his daughter once again.
The transplant surgery was a complete success and Dallas has been regaining facial muscular control and sensation every day. He can not only feel his daughter’s kisses, but he can feel the cool breeze on his skin and smell food and flowers; sensations that most of us take for granted.
Dallas now works tirelessly to be the best father and mentor he can be while showing others the possibility of accomplishing their dreams despite their circumstances.