For 15 years, Richard Norris faced brutal cruelty from strangers, fought addiction and contemplated suicide because of a tragic accident that left his face ravaged.
But when Norris turned 38 he underwent an extremely complex face transplant that could have cost him his life.
The 36-hour operation - in which Norris received new teeth, a jaw and a tongue from a donor - was controversial as he only had a 50% chance of surviving.
Here is Norris speaking with Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, who led the surgical team that performed the face transplant at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.
The surgery was a success and Norris has since been approached by GQ to be featured in the magazine.
GQ contributor Jeanne Marie Laskas approached Norris to feature in the August 2014 issue. In an interview with the men's magazine, Norris says that he's received thousands of letters from fans. One of those fans is now his girlfriend.
Despite still being very vulnerable to health problems, Norris spoke optimistically about his experience, telling Laskas: "A drop of hope can create an ocean, but a bucket of faith can create an entire world."