She was taken to hospital and endured two years worth of operations, undergoing several procedures to fix her bone structure, including her nose, nasal passage and her jaw before receiving her new face from donor Adrea Schneider, 31, who died after a drug overdose.
Katie Stubblefield at Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, Ohio. At 21, Katie became the youngest person in the United States to have a face transplant.
According to a report by CNN, Ms Stubblefield suffered several problems in the days leading up to her suicide. Her parents are looking into eye transplants for her next, so her eyesight can be restored.
The idea of putting the young woman through this surgery came after her parents talked to a surgeon in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was flown for treatment after the suicide attempt.
In 2017, it was decided that Stubblefield would undergo a face transplant.
"There was an older trauma surgeon who basically told us, 'It's the worst wound that I've ever seen of its kind, ' and he said, 'The only thing I can think of that would really give her functional life again is a face transplant, ' " Robb said. After dealing with the effects of her family relocating for the second time in just a couple of years, chronic gastrointestinal troubles led her to have her appendix and gallbladder removed. "I am able to touch my face now, and it feels fantastic", Katie said in the video. She rarely went out in public except to see doctors.
"I am forever grateful for the care this hospital has given me and continues to offer on my journey of recovery and healing", Stubblefield said in a statement past year from the clinic.
Now 22, she has shared her story and incredible photos of her transplant journey with National Geographic.
"When my parents helped explain everything to me, I was very excited to get a face again and to have function again", Katie said, via WTKR.
Youngest woman to receive complete face transplant.
To prepare for the surgery, doctors used 3D printing to assist with reconstructing about 90 per cent of her jaw, using her older sister Olivia McCay as a model. "She can try to save other young lives". The only problem? This posed a greater risk of Katie's body rejecting the new face.
"So many people have helped me".
But she intends to pick up where she left off, she told National Geographic, going to college and perhaps pursuing a career in counseling. She hopes to speak to teenagers about suicide and the value of life. During the interview, Katie said that she never saw herself as handsome and after a barrage of hardships - chronic gastrointestinal issues, the loss of her mother's job and a painful breakup - she wanted to end her life.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention hotline anytime at 1-800-273-8255.
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