Plastic surgeons honor 'Patients of Courage' overcoming difficult obstacles, inspiring others

k and dragged by a school bus. She sustained life-threatening injuries, losing 45 percent of her skin from her chest to her knees. Trauma center physicians saved her life and performed skin grafting which left her with significant deformities. After enduring multiple reconstructive plastic surgeries, Chesson, now 16, is excelling academically and recently finished as First Runner-Up in the Teen Miss Alabama contest. "Through her endeavors, Ann has become an inspiration to her entire community and the country," said her reconstructive plastic surgeon, Michael Beckenstein, MD. "Her eternal optimism encourages other people with deformities."

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

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