Finally, he’s found a significant other to hold hands with.
The initial candidate to experience a facial and twin hand transplantation surgery that was a success has discovered love with a significant other after a few years of his remarkable procedure.
Joe DiMeo, who is currently 24 years old, experienced severe burns of the third degree to 80% of his body and underwent the removal of his finger tips subsequent to his Dodge Challenger colliding and bursting into fire in New Jersey during July of 2018.
DiMeo experienced 20 restorative cosmetic surgeries and skin transplants prior to doctors at New York University’s Langone medical facility executing the 23-hour synchronized transplant of the face and both hands in August 2020.
The remarkable tale of the youth intrigued Californian Jessica Koby, aged 32, who reached out to DiMeo on Instagram following news of the operation.
The duo speedily initiated a chat, at first connecting over a mutual adoration for Boston Terrier canines. Following the commencement of a relationship from afar, Koby made the choice to move to New Jersey in order to be nearer to DiMeo.
Koby, a nurse by profession, expressed astonishment at her partner’s resilience and positivity when confronted with his extraordinary difficulties.
“I love that he is gentle, kind and he is so courageous.” Koby swooned as she talked to Southwest News Service. “For everything he has gone through, he remains so positive and such a light.”
“He is very knowledgeable and anyone he talks to he can carry a conversation with,” Koby said. “I really like that about him because I think that someone who is educated and speaks well is very attractive,” she added.
Koby, who is eight years senior to DiMeo, additionally asserted that her partner is both “humorous” and “very mature considering his age.”
In the meantime, a self-assured DiMeo expresses his unwavering belief that he would discover love despite the significant transformation in his looks.
“When I was burnt I was not looking for love but I was always confident it would happen eventually because I am the same on the inside,” DiMeo noted. “Nothing has changed besides my skin.”
The couple have already moved together with their two Boston Terriers and DiMeo has revealed that he is even driving again after his hand transplant — something he previously told The Post that he was dreaming of doing.
The pair has already relocated with their two Boston Terriers, and DiMeo has disclosed that he is now operating a vehicle once more following his hand graft, which he had previously expressed to as an aspiration of his.
“I can drive again,” DiMeo rejoiced. “I just drive my girlfriend’s Subaru Crosstrek.”
Joe DiMeo has additionally disclosed fresh information regarding the donor of his recent facial transplant.
“My donor was a 48-year-old stroke victim from Delaware who died two days before my surgery,” 24-year-old DiMeo said.
DiMeo amusingly shared with Southwest News Service that he would have rather obtained a woman’s visage “just so I wouldn’t have to shave all the time” — yet he expresses immense gratitude towards his benefactor and the 140 healthcare experts who successfully accomplished the astonishing operation.
“It didn’t feel weird being given the face of someone nearly twice my age because I was just completely ready to start my life again,” he said. “This is who I am now and I came to terms with that quite quickly really.”
In spite of his boundless positivity, Joe DiMeo acknowledges that “fake friends” were lost after his vehicle accident, and he continues to encounter looks when he’s in the open.
“It was sad to see my fake friends all go but then you realize who your real friends are and you appreciate them more,” he said to Southwest News Service, exhibiting his unconquerable determination.
DiMeo said, “people also look at me, which doesn’t bother me. I’m 6”1’ and wide and then on top of that I wear short sleeves a lot of the time so you can see my burnt arms. So I don’t mind people staring because I would stare too.”.
Regarding the upcoming plans, DiMeo is presently working on publishing a book and is searching for a new home alongside Koby, as they desire additional room for their two Boston Terrier canines, Buster and Kirkland.
“I could do a pity party but that’s just not me,” he mentioned, and said he feels elevated with his girlfriend by his side.
Joe DiMeo’s car crash happened following him dozing off while driving on his route back from working a night shift in a food analysis facility in Hillside, New Jersey in July of 2018.
After a couple of years, DiMeo received the news that he would undergo a facial and dual transplant.
“I was ready for the transplant when it was offered to me,” DiMeo shared. “I didn’t want to live how I was living.”
A group of 140 doctors, medical assistants, and auxiliary personnel collaborated to successfully accomplish the innovative operation in August 2020, a procedure that had been tried on only two previous occasions.
The journey of Joe’s extensive rehabilitation was guided by Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, a distinguished cosmetic surgeon from NYU.
Dr. Rodriguez said of DiMeo, “his spirit is so strong.”
“There’s always light at the end of the tunnel,” Joe DiMeo stated. “Never give up and never let your appearance slow you down. Always look at the good things.”