Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez has been named a “2013 NBC Latino Innovator” during National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Dr. Rodriguez, who grew up in Miami, is known for performing the most extensive face-transplant in history.
Rodriguez performed the transplant on Richard Norris, a patient who had spent 15 years covering his face with masks. Norris would leave his home in the dark to avoid people staring at his face. The ground-breaking procedure took place in 2011 and lasted 36 hours.
“It’s the most comprehensive face transplant in medical history,” Dr. Rodriguez, who is chief of plastic, reconstructive and maxillofacial surgery at the center, told NBC’s Ann Curry in her special, “A Face in the Crowd.”
The transplant gave Norris a second chance on life, and gave hope to researchers who want to help heal soldiers who have been damaged by wounds from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Rodriguez first lived in Puerto Rico and shortly moved to Miami which he calls home. His favorite meal is the traditional fixings of a Cuban meal, which include a pig roast, rice, beans, and plantains.
Rodriguez thanks his education as he says it's opened the doors for him and it's something that he will value for the rest of his life.