Tuesday, May 23, 2006

PRIMETIME With Barbara Walters Will Air Documentary About An Extraordinary Face Transplant

Behind The Mask... Stunning Access Inside Historic Surgery -- ABC News To Air Compelling Documentary Of First Face Transplant

Also, Barbara Walters′ Interview with World-Renowned Transplant Surgeon

On PRIMETIME, Airing Thursday, May 25 on ABC

For the first time on American television, viewers will experience the extraordinary medical journey that took place last November in France as doctors miraculously performed the first partial face transplant on Isabelle, who lost her nose, both lips and chin in a dreadful accident. Hosted by Barbara Walters, the PRIMETIME special will include the ABC News acquired French documentary that follows Isabelle′s intimate experience beginning the day she arrives at the facial surgery department at University Hospital in Amiens. The documentary includes never-before-seen footage taken during the unprecedented 15-hour surgery, and moving moments from the rehabilitation that follows. ABC will also air exclusive footage of Isabelle, 38, shot just last week - the most current visuals of her. Additionally, Barbara Walters interviews famed transplant surgeon Dr. Jean-Michel Dubernard. The special edition of PRIMETIME airs Thursday, May 25 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Isabelle lost most of her face last May when she was mauled by her Labrador retriever while she was in a drug-induced sleep. She received a new face from a 46-year-old brain dead donor during a surgery performed November 27 at University Hospital in Amiens.

The documentary, which was directed by Michael Hughes and produced by Marc Nardino and Michel Babolat and will air on France′s TF1, also contains testimonials from the doctors and hospital staff, in addition to Walters′ interview with Dr. Dubernard. It was shot over six months.