Dallas Wiens, of Fort Worth, Texas, who became the first person in the US to receive a full face transplant, got married on Saturday to fellow burn patient Jamie Nash that he met at a support group.
Dallas Wiens was severely injured in a bizarre construction accident in 2008 when he came into contact with a high-voltage power line.
Jamie Nash, of Garland, Texas, nearly died in a car crash in Ennis in 2010. Her car erupted in flames, and she was trapped. She was severely burned on her hands, back and legs.
Dallas Wiens and Jamie Nash, who got engaged last fall, exchanged vows Saturday morning at the Fort Worth church where Dallas was working when he was critically hurt.
Pastor Scott Cox says about 200 people attended the wedding at Ridglea Baptist Church, including doctors and nurses who had treated the couple.
He says the couple told him they believe God brought them together.
Dallas Wiens, 27, was painting the church in 2008 when he touched a power line. He suffered facial injuries and was blinded. In 2011 he underwent a full facial transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Jamie Nash’s hands and back were burnt in a 2010 traffic accident.
The couple met in a support group at Parkland Hospital, where both were being treated.
Dallas Wiens’ features burned away and he was left blind after his head touched a high-voltage power line while painting the Ridglea Baptist Church in November 2008.
The man received a new nose, lips, skin, muscle and nerves from an anonymous donor, and has had more than 38 surgeries.
However the transplant, which was paid for by the US military, was unable to restore his sight, and some nerves were so badly damaged from his injury that he has partial sensation on his left cheek and the left side of his forehead.
Describing the first moment she locked eyes on him at the Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Jamie Nash said: ‘I just looked at him from across the room, and there was something about him’.
Dallas Wiens, who was previously married but filed for divorce before his accident in November 2008, said he wasn’t interested in getting into a relationship at first.
“I had sworn off love and relationships,” he said.
“I had no desire to be in one whatsoever.”
Then, on Christmas Eve, they talked all night and set up a date.
“We went to dinner and a movie, and that’s all she wrote,” Dallas Wiens said.
The couple said they have been together every day since.
“I told him it’s got to be love, because I’m not sick of you,” Jamie Nash joked.
“I know I’ve never felt more real than this.”
They plan to put their pasts behind them.
“There’s no reason to dwell on the past,” Dallas Wiens said.
“It’s dead and gone,” Jamie Nash added.
“It burned in the fire.”
Dallas Wiens and Jamie Nash said they make the perfect couple and help balance each other.
Her hands, for example, were severely injured in her accident. His are fine.
Jamie can see. Dallas lost his eyesight in the accident.
“It’s a story of hope, a story of true survivors,” Jamie Nash said.
“I mean, if we can do it, I guarantee you, anybody out there – we all have a story.
“We’re all going through something. And I want to give everybody hope.”