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American Society Of Plastic Surgeons Honors Patients Of Courage In Boston At Plastic Surgery: The Meeting 2015
Four Amazing Patients, Four Amazing Stories

CHICAGO - Four individuals with remarkable stories were honored as Patients of Courage at this year's scientific conference, Plastic Surgery: The Meeting, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) announced today.

This year's awards program, supported through a grant from the Integra Foundation, recognized inspirational reconstructive plastic surgery patients who use their experiences, strength and determination to help others in need and give back to their communities through charitable work. The Patients of Courage program has honored more than 50 patients since its inception. Integra Foundation is generously donating a $5000 grant to non-profit organizations chosen by each of the Patients of Courage.

"We commend these men and women for their courage and fortitude in the face of tremendous hardship. We are also proud of the work our plastic and reconstructive surgeons have delivered, and applaud them to for their service and for the great patient outcomes they strive to reach with each and every procedure," Nicholas Vedder, MD, President of The Plastic Surgery Foundation, said. "We're honored to have them tell their stories."

The Patients of Courage are Gabriel Hurley from New Jersey, Juliana James of Washington State, Adam Keys, of Bethesda, MD, injured while serving in Afghanistan, and Suzanne Zaccone, of Hindsale, IL.

Hurley, a recent Rutgers University graduate and a promising musician, suffered a horrific accident when the car he was driving was hit by a reckless teen driver. Gabriel suffered massive facial trauma, including panfacial fractures with bilateral globe ruptures. He underwent multiple reconstructive facial surgeries and had been rendered completely blind from his ocular injuries. Through relentless rehabilitation and numerous reconstructive procedures, Gabriel began to recover, never letting his facial disfigurement or his blindness take over his life. With the help of his mother, Gabriel regained his independence over the next few years. For Hurley's story: https://youtu.be/Ft62hjmL5B0

James, known as Lily to her friends and family, nearly lost both of her feet in a boating accident in 2010 when she was 7 years old. Lily's right foot, which was attached only by tendons, was successfully replanted. After several additional surgeries and reconstructive flaps Lily was able to walk again and resume her favorite activities, including skiing, gymnastics and most recently, lacrosse, in which she is the leading scorer for her middle school. Lily is an amazing example of someone who has triumphed over adversity and who has become stronger as a result of her experience. For her story: https://youtu.be/mtOcKdrGlSs

Army Sgt. Adam Keys, 31, was injured in 2010 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when an IED similar to the numerous others he and his fellow soldiers specialized in finding and disarming, was detonated from a remote location. Adam, the only one to survive the explosion, lost both legs above the knee and his left arm due to infections. He spent the next several months at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md, enduring more than 130 surgeries on his road to recovery. Adam's determination to get better has been nothing short of amazing. Through extensive physical therapy, he is now able to walk without the use of a cane or crutches. In April, Adam finished the Boston Marathon in 3 hours and 18 minutes, an incredible feat considering Adam's original injuries and infections were so severe that his core muscles were rendered practically useless. For Adam's story: https://youtu.be/HeMD6zfJBu0

Zaccone underwent a mastectomy and radiation as well as a delayed right breast reconstruction with a stacked DIEP/SIEA flap. Three weeks after returning home from the hospital, Suzanne began to blog about her experience, sharing her story with a growing number of followers who began to rely on Suzanne's informative posts and count on her cheery disposition. Suzanne eventually turned her posts into a book, "A Random Interruption: Surviving Breast Cancer with Laughter, Vodka, Smoothies and an Attitude," published in 2009. Suzanne donated the book's proceeds to The University of Chicago Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, where she and her foundation have established the Zaccone Family Microsurgery Fellowship. Suzanne has given more than $600,000 to support the training of six fellows in advanced techniques in reconstructive microsurgery. The Zaccone Family Microsurgery Fellows are now practicing around the United States and the world, including South Dakota, North Carolina, Illinois, Rhode Island, Israel and Spain. For Suzanne's story: https://youtu.be/TdAVZyApwwI

"These individuals are truly inspirational examples of courage and determination. In their own way, they demonstrate that the work our professionals perform can offer anyone the opportunity to have a better life," Scot Glasberg, MD, President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons said.

About ASPS

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the world's largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons. Representing more than 7,000 Member Surgeons, the Society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the Society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. ASPS advances quality care to plastic surgery patients by encouraging high standards of training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery. 

About The PSF

The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF), founded in 1948, supports research, international volunteer programs and visiting professor programs. The foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life of patients through research and development. The PSF accomplishes its mission by providing invaluable support to the research of plastic surgery sciences through a variety of grant programs. The PSF works in concert with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

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