His injury happened in November 2008 when Wiens, now 26, was painting his church as a volunteer: His head got too close to a high-voltage power line, and he lost almost his entire face from the burns.
For 90 days, doctors kept him in a medically induced coma while they performed surgeries and he breathed through a ventilator. Many people didn't think he'd make it out of the intensive care unit, Janis said Monday.
But he did survive. Janis connected with Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, Burn Unit director at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Massachusetts, who had previously performed a partial face transplant. Pomahac became the team leader for more than 30 medical professionals who would take part in Wiens' surgery.