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Healing Heroes: Rebuilding Faces

<br>Technology helps rebuild warfighers' faces.

FROM BURNS TO BULLETS TO BOMB BLASTS, THOUSANDS OF U-S TROOPS HAVE COME BACK FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WITH DEVASTATING INJURIES THAT LEAVE THEM DISFIGURED.  
 TO GIVE THE WOUNDED WARRIORS A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE AND SENSE OF NORMALCY, EXPERTS ARE USING ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY AND ART.  

WITH WHAT'S LEFT OF HIS LEFT HAND ARMY VET MARIO LOPEZ TURNS A CANVAS INTO ART. WHILE SERVING IN IRAQ IN 2008, HIS VEHICLE WAS BLOWN UP BY AN IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE. NOW MARIO IS DOCTOR SARRA  CUSHEN'S CANVAS.
SHE'S CUSTOM PAINTING HIS PROSTHETIC EAR.

Doctor Sarra Cushen says, "It's very helpful to have Mario's input on this because he does have such an artist's eye." 

EYES, EARS AND MORE ARE MADE HERE AT SAN ANTONIO MILITARY MEDICAL CENTER. 
THE U-S SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE REPORTS MORE THAN 25-HUNDRED MILITARY MEMBERS HAVE SUFFERED TRAUMATIC BURNS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN.
A STUDY OF U-S MILITARY CASUALTIES OVER A SIX MONTH PERIOD, FOUND 39-PERCENT OF ALL TROOPS' INJURIES WERE TO THE HEAD, FACE AND NECK.
COLONEL ALAN SUTTON SAYS WHEN SURGEONS CAN'T RECREATE FEATURES WITH BONE AND TISSUE.
Colonel Alan Sutton says, "Then it's our turn to recreate realistic prosthesis."
IN 18 MILLI-SECONDS THIS CAMERA CAPTURES A 3-D PICTURE OF THE FACE. DOCTORS CAN USE IT TO HELP BUILD NEW BODY PARTS. DOCTORS CAN ALSO MAKE VIRTUAL REPLICAS OF PATIENTS' FACES LIKE THIS.

BUT UNTIL IT'S PERFECTED, SUTTON TELLS US STONE CASTING IS QUICKER AND MORE DETAILED. 

HE SAYS IT'S BEEN USED FOR ALMOST A CENTURY.  

DOCTOR CUSHEN'S MASTERPIECE IS NOW COMPLETE. MARIO SAYS HIS NEW PROSTHETIC EAR LOOKS AND FEELS REAL.

 SAN ANTONIO MILITARY MEDICAL CENTER HAS TEAMED UP WITH U-C-L-A'S "OPERATION MEND." 

 THE PROGRAM OFFERS WOUNDED WARRIORS MEDICAL SERVICES INCLUDING PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY AT NO COST TO THE VETS.  OPERATION MEND PAYS FOR WHAT THEIR MILITARY MEDICAL INSURANCE DOESN'T COVER.  

 OFFICIALS TELL US THAT AVERAGES OUT TO ABOUT 500-THOUSAND DOLLARS PER PATIENT. 
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