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This woman just met the man who took her brother's face

Joshua Aversano’s entire face was donated to Richard Lee Norris for transplant after Aversano died in a car accident.

Reb2 Source: 60 Minutes

MOST PEOPLE HAVE thought about what it would be like to meet someone they cared for again after they passed away.

Rebekah Aversano has had that opportunity for real.

In what must go down as one of the most bizarre introductions of all time, Rebekah met 39-year-old Richard Lee Norris for the first time, and saw her brother’s face.

Rebekah’s brother Joshua was aged just 21 when killed in a car accident three years ago.

Following his tragic death his entire face was donated by his family to Norris for transplant. Norris had lost most of his own face after an accident with a shotgun in 1997.

Reb1 Rebekah Aversano Source: 60 Minutes

The meeting between the two at Norris’ Virginia home is shown in a promo for a 60 Minutes special this Sunday which can be viewed here.

Upon seeing Norris for the first time, Rebekah’s reaction is awed: “This is the face I grew up with”.

Norris had undergone more than 30 operations following his accident, none of which resulted in any noticeable improvement.

Following Aversano’s tragic death, Norris underwent one of the most complex surgical procedures in history,  a 36 hour operation involving a team of 150 people which saw him receive an entire face, jaw, and even a tongue from his unfortunate donor.

reb3 Source: 60 Minutes

Aversano’s mother said she knew it was “the right thing to do”.

We can definitely see our son in him. Some of the facial features would definitely be our son, so we could see similarities, very much so,” she told Canada’s CTV news.

We are just so pleased we have been able to help him, even though we had such a tragic loss, we were able to give someone else the benefit of our son.

CORRECTION Face Transplant Patient Norris in 2013 after his life-changing surgery Source: AP/Press Association Images

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