Lebanese-Canadian plastic surgeon was among a world-class team that performed a historic face transplant

WARNING: This article contains images that might disturb some readers.

A Lebanese-Canadian plastic surgeon was among a world-class team that gave a young woman a new face and a second chance at life after she tried to kill herself in 2014, according to CTV News.


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Dr. Gaby Doumit is a plastic surgeon and a cranial facial surgeon who completed his studies at the University of Ottawa. According to his website, he received training in craniofacial and aesthetic surgery at the most prestigious hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital.

Throughout his career, Dr. Doumit successfully treated many complex cases that failed treatments at other major university hospitals in the world. 


The procedure

He recently successfully completed a 31-hour face transplant that was featured on National Geographic.

The patient, whose name is Katie Stubblefield, is a woman in her 20s who tried to end her life after a breakup when she was 18 years old. The suicide was a failed attempt since the bullet missed her brain. She lost her speech, vision, and face. 

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Katie underwent over 20 complex procedures at the Cleveland Clinic which is a renowned hospital in the United States. Although Dr. Doumit is based in Montreal, he was among the medical team that made sure Katie receives the best recovery possible.

This clinic often calls on Dr. Doumit for complex operations, such as Katie’s. Face transplants have been performed only on a few dozen patients worldwide.

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Katie waited for the right donor for years until she found the perfect match in 2017!  Her face transplant took 31 hours, a large medical team, and two operating rooms. 

The procedure was long and complicated, but it was worth it! Katie is officially the 40th person in the world ever to receive a face transplant. 

A new face and a new life

This operation gave Katie the opportunity to start a new life. She is physically and emotionally recovering well.

“Her speech has improved immensely, and her self-esteem has improved immensely,” said Dr. Francis Papay.

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Katie is planning to use her experience and help people who are struggling with suicide.

“So many people have helped me; now I want to help other people,” she told National Geographic.

For those dealing with suicidal thoughts, Lebanon’s first suicide prevention helpline Embrace is available at 1564. For more information, click here.

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