Katie takes a moment for herself in her room, a rare occurrence in the hospital, as doctors and others frequently stopped by to check on her progress. Her new face, with the sutures still in, remains quite swollen.
One did make it into the final story: an image of Katie sitting alone on her hospital bed after the transplant. As usual, says Steber, the room was “a flurry of constant activity. But nobody was talking to Katie. She was sitting there in her own little quiet moment of reflection.” It was a rare private moment. “In the end, we have to deal with ourselves.”
For Steber, Katie’s new face is much more than a medical marvel. “It’s not about how you look,” she says. “It’s about your spirit. Your face is a map of your life.”
She hopes Katie’s story advances scientific knowledge and makes people think. “People look away from everything, don’t they?” she says. “They look away from pictures of starving children, of war. They have the choice. But then I think of all the people who will be very interested. Maybe there are some children who will become doctors one day because they see this. We have to think of the people who will be inspired and informed and changed by this.”