BOSTON (WHDH) - Doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital made history in July when they performed the first successful face transplant on a black person.

Robert Chelsea, of the Los Angeles area, underwent the transplant after suffering from burns on more than 60 percent of his body and face in a car crash caused by a drunken driver in 2013, the hospital wrote on Instagram.

The 16-hour surgery led by Plastic Surgery Transplantation Director Bohdan Pomahac, MD, involved a team of more than 45 physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, residents, and research fellows.

Not only is Chelsea the first black patient to receive a full face transplant, he is also the oldest at age 68.

“May God bless the donor and his family who chose to donate this precious gift and give me a second chance,” Chelsea said. “Words cannot describe how I feel. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and feel very blessed to receive such an amazing gift.”

This marked the ninth face transplant procedure at Brigham and Women’s and the 15th nationwide.

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