Cliff Meidl of Hawthorne, Calif., was working construction when his jack hammer struck a buried power line that shocked him with 30,000 volts of electricity. The impact blew a hole in his skull, stopped his heart and nearly caused the amputation of both legs. Meidl underwent reconstructive plastic surgery to his knees, and, as a part of his rehabilitation, he started flat-water kayaking. He quickly excelled at the sport, qualifying for two Olympics, and was chosen to lead his U.S. Olympic teammates onto the field at the 2000 Sydney opening ceremonies. "Cliff deeply affected me as his plastic surgeon, reminding me that one should never discourage or give up on a patient," said Malcolm Lesavoy, MD. "The human spirit will always survive and conquer adversity."
When the five-month-old niece of a friend became extremely sick and needed liver tissue to survive, Tina Driskell of Vienna, Va., did not hesitate to donate part of her liver. Two years later, she developed an aggressive tumor on the scar from her surgery. Although surgeons were able to remove the tumor, Driskell had a severely deformed abdomen that required multiple reconstructive plastic surgeries. Despite a long battle with her insurance company, including several denials, Driskell was never bitter about her situation and persevered, eventually get
Contact: Brian Hugins
American Society of Plastic Surgeons