Rafael, Spanish Face Transplant Patient, Goes Public (PHOTOS)

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(AP) MADRID -- A Spanish man who underwent a partial face transplant in January has appeared in public for the first time, hugging his surgeon and thanking the donor's family.

The patient, identified only as Rafael, spoke in a labored voice Tuesday at a news conference at the Seville hospital where he underwent surgery.

The patient's age was not given. Doctors replaced the bottom two-thirds of his face because of a congenital disease that left it deformed with benign tumors.

Last month a hospital in Barcelona carried out the world's first full-face transplant. It was the 11th known face transplant worldwide.

The Seville case was the second partial face transplant performed in Spain.

PHOTOS VIA AP -- WARNING: SOME MAY CONSIDER CONTENT GRAPHIC OR UPSETTING