When you smile, the whole world is supposed to smile with you. That's the way it works, right?

Well, not for everybody. After some terrible misfortune, some people are left without smiles to give. Can you imagine? Losing your face must be a loss of identity. It's a fundamental blow. And when you can't smile, how can the world smile with you?

But with medical science on the case, doctors have been able to work marvels and restore both the ability to smile, and give a reason to smile. Check out what they did for Mitchell Hunter.

WARNING: Some readers may find some of these images graphic.

SHARE this if you're impressed by Mitchell's journey!

#2 In 2001, Mitchell Hunter was in a life-changing car wreck.

In the accident, he was a passenger in a car that hit an electrical pole. Although he managed to push a woman to safety, a high-voltage wire shocked Mitchell with 10,000 volts — for five minutes.

#3 He survived but lost a leg, and burns from the electrical shock left him disfigured.

Needless to say, he went through some dark times after the accident, even though he couldn't remember it. "People tell me I'm fortunate that I don't remember [the accident] because it would probably be a lot of pain," he told WISH-TV.

#4 Even numerous skin grafts couldn't help the Army vet.

"Imagine walking into a room and, like, falling and everybody noticing," he said. "That's how it was every time I walked in a room because of the way my face looked."

He needed more drastic help.

#5 In 2011, Mitchell received just the third-ever full face transplant in the U.S.

Doctors operated for 14 hours, an incredible procedure giving him a nose, eyelids, muscles to help his face move, and nerves, all made possible by an anonymous donor. At the time, it made headlines.

His transformation since then has been nothing short of remarkable...

#6 Five years later, Mitchell has a new lease on life.

Rather than worrying about stares, he worries about when to trim his beard. "Hot, cold, pain, tickle, rubbing my beard, someone kissing my face, I can feel everything," Mitchell says.

#7 The physical transformation has come with a social transformation, too.

"It's a lot easier to go out in public now, I will tell you that," he says.

#8 Through the process, he has gained some insight and perspective.

"I look back on it as something that made me stronger,” he said. “I mean, yeah, I’d like to have my leg and my face back, but without that happening I wouldn’t be who I am today.”

#9 If you liked that, you definitely need to check out this amazing story.She Woke Up With THIS Sticking Out Of Her Chest, And You Won't Believe What Came Out

SHARE this if you're impressed by Mitchell's journey!

[h/t: WISH-TV]

Main image via WISH-TV

Collage image via Metro | WISH-TV


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