Soldier suffers 10,000-volt electrical burns—gets a ‘new face’ after 14-hour-long surgery

When the car they were driving collided into a 10,000-volt electrical pylon, this brave young man’s only thought was to push the driver, his girlfriend, out of the way, putting himself into direct contact with the devastating electrical current. 

Mitch Hunter, a former soldier who served in the U.S. army, was just 21 years old when a horrific crash changed the course of his life forever. Mitch, along with his girlfriend at the time and another friend, was driving when the unimaginable happened—their car crashed into an electrical pylon.

As he pushed his girlfriend out of harm’s way, the 10,000-volt electrical current pumped through his body for five excruciating minutes, which he felt mainly in his facial area. Mitch was left disfigured, having suffered burns to his face, hands, and body.

The skin on his face had literally “melted.”

Mitch was rushed to the hospital.

Over the course of the next 14 years, he underwent 20 painful skin grafts from his leg and back. Mitch was 35 by the time all of the procedures were completed.

Mitch recalled how children once screamed in horror when they saw him, while others would stop and stare.

Mitch told news channel WISHTV8: “Imagine walking into a room and falling, and everybody noticing. That’s how it was every time I walked in a room, because of the way my face looked.”

However, Mitch was always a brave soul, and despite his injuries, he even found love and married. When his wife became pregnant, Mitch wanted to do something for his family and for himself, so he arranged to have facial reconstructive surgery.

Mitch’s eyes, nose, and lips had to be reconstructed, while a delicate procedure of reattaching facial nerves and muscles was also involved. A brilliant team of 30 doctors worked for 14 hours on Mitch’s face.

Mitch spent five months recovering afterward.

Mitch Hunter in January 2016, following reconstructive surgery

Mitch said: “Hot, cold, pain, tickle, rubbing my beard, someone kissing my face—I can feel everything.”

Mitch in 2014

“I feel just as healthy just as I did when I was 21, and I feel great,” he said. “I look back on it as something that made me stronger.”

Immediately following his life-changing operation in 2012

“I mean, yeah, I’d like to have my leg and my face back, but without that happening, I wouldn’t be who I am today.”

Mitch in 2013, recovering well

“I think it’s an amazing journey. I mean, it’s been a hard journey,” he said. “I would like to tell people just not to worry about the small things; live life.

“Tell the people you love that you love them because you never know when that can be taken away.”

Mitch started a YouTube channel, which shares the full story of his reconstructive surgeries.

Mitch looking cool, sporting a beard in 2017