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The return to life of Franck, great burned saved thanks to his twin

Ⓒ AFP – STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN – | The twins Franck (d) and Eric Dufourmantelle, April 20, 2018 in Paris

A Pacs, a new house and a baby “for now”: Franck, burned on almost the entire body 18 months ago and saved thanks to the skin graft of his twin, no shortage of projects after this unprecedented medical prowess.

He was pacified with his companion Clémentine on April 13, 2018, the same day he left the reeducation center. The couple plans to move to “buy the house of our dreams,” says AFP Franck who, according to his brother, will “a very good father.”

The twenties twins, Franck and Eric Dufourmantelle, whose resemblance remains striking, same beard, same smile, testify to their incredible medical adventure, made of courage, obstinacy and suffering in a book “Life” (Allary Editions).

“Life”, life. A word on the skin, in the crook of the elbow. The only part of Franck’s tattoos that was not destroyed by the flames during his accident at work on September 26, 2016. A sign, for his surgeon. A “wink of fate” for him.

The chemical technician had turned into a torch after the explosion of the canister he handled.

The pubis, feet and face largely, were spared. He has the lower eyelid of a falling eye, a very slanted ear.

Ⓒ AFP – STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN – | The twins Franck (d) and Eric Dufourmantelle, April 20, 2018 in Paris

The bad news then accumulates – risk organ failures, durable transplant with tissue donation like impossible skin, less than 1% chance of survival not to say zero – tells Eric.

– A “crazy thing” –

“The crazy thing,” he adds, is that their twinship almost went unnoticed.

The doctors, who knew Franck’s face only covered with bandages, could not make the connection with his brother’s. In fact, it is Eric’s insistence to help when there is no hope that triggers the fight. He returns to the charge: “I’m his brother, his twin brother anyway.”

True twin? Homozygote (same egg)? asks him without flinching a doctor. “I said yes, a few hours later I was summoned to Professor Mimoun’s office.”

Ⓒ AFP – STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN – | Franck Dufourmantelle, burned on almost the entire body 18 months ago and saved thanks to the skin graft of his twin, April 20, 2018 in Paris

The advantage of a skin transplant between identical twins: there is no rejection since they have identical genetic capital.

“This is the first time that we perform a skin transplant between twins on 95% of the body,” explained in November to AFP Professor Maurice Mimoun, head of the department of plastic surgery and reconstructive at the Saint-Jean Hospital. Louis (AP-HP) in Paris, who led the operation.

The cases published so far in the world ranged from 6 to 68% and covered about 45% of the body surface on average, according to the surgeon.

– Ping-pong parties –

For Franck, the re-education will “continue in liberal”. He still experiences “a form of discomfort with the feeling of being in a combination”. His skin must still soften. Spa treatments are planned every year and this should last “eighteen years”.

This athlete can now run 10 to 15 minutes, ping pong. He can write, eat with his right hand and “make daily gestures”. “The left hand that should have been amputated is really disabled,” said the survivor, who lives near Amiens.

Supported by his twin, with which he gladly agrees as before, and his family, Franck, 34, goes ahead even if he knows that the martial arts (judo-jujitsu) which he and his brother are followers , are no longer relevant.

“Occasional smoker (3-4 cigarettes / day)” he “resumed”. “It’s stress,” defends Eric.

Eric, he keeps only a few redness on the back, traces of skin samples “peeled”. He shows them without dwelling on the pain endured, without regrets, to allow his brother to live.

The book says more, like “when a nurse with a very soft voice (…) began to massage the head”. “A drop of water in a sea of ​​hell,” he says.

Without the public hospital, add the two brothers, all this would not have been possible: to pay for this care, the mortgage of our houses would have been “not enough”.

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