A man who once made U.S. medical history after receiving the first full face transplant is now in dire need of a kidney — and he's getting help from a friend very near and dear to him.
Inside Edition profiled Richard Norris four years ago after he received the face of Joshua Aversano, who was killed in a car accident. At the time, it was America's most extensive face transplant to date.
Rebekah Aversano, Joshua's sister, met Norris in 2015 in an emotional moment captured by Inside Edition. "You have my brother's face," she told him upon meeting. "It's so familiar to me. It’s hard to see where my brother ends and you begin."
The transplant gave Norris a second chance at life after he was disfigured in a hunting accident.
But now Norris is facing another life-threatening crisis. His kidneys are failing him, a side effect of the anti-rejection drugs he was taking following the face transplant.
Desperate to help the recipient of her brother's face, Rebekah flew to New Orleans, where Norris lives with his fiancee, Melanie Solis, to help him hit the streets to look for a kidney match, wearing T-shirts with their contact information.
It's Mardi Gras time and the streets were teeming with tourists. Rebekah urged them to pose with Norris and post the photos on social media in the hopes that they will go viral and help Norris find the organ he so desperately needs.
"The more people that see, the better," said Rebekah. "... Please find it in your heart to help him."
A miracle once saved Norris' life. Now, he's hoping for another one.
If you want to help Norris, please contact (985) 662-2332 or use the hashtag #RaisingHopeforRichard.
You can donate to the family here.