There was only a 50% chance the face transplant that could transform his life would work—and it was a gamble Mississippi's Pat Hardison won. 

Per USA Today, the ex-Senatobia firefighter received the "world's most extensive face transplant" in August 2015, after he'd been severely burned 14 years earlier while fighting a house fire. 

A team of more than 100 medical staff took part in the groundbreaking surgery, which took more than 24 hours, in which Hardison received the face of 26-year-old David Rodebaugh, who'd died in a cycling accident. Though he'd faced a good chance of dying from the procedure, Hardison's decision to "bet it all" paid off. On Sunday, the 43-year-old took a turn as guest speaker for an organ transplant group to express his gratitude.

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