From: glen mccready To: Cc: Date: Thu, 02 Oct 1997 09:45:07 -0400

Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <>
Forwarded-by: Joseph Harper <>

Melbourne, Australia:

In a rare, 25-hour operation, surgeons in Australia reattached the face
of a woman after a farm machine tore much of her scalp and face from her
head, doctors said today.

The 28-year-old woman from Shepparton, in central Victoria state, had
virtually her entire face and scalp ripped off when her hair caught in
machinery in a milking shed on Sept. 16.

"I have never seen anything so ghastly, so macabre as this," said Dr.
Wayne Morrison, who headed the St.  Vincent's Hospital team that
reattached her face. He was referring to the exposed bones and muscle.

"The tissue that was sent to us was packed in ice, and when we unraveled
it and laid it out, here was a face looking at us," Morrison told
Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio today.

The woman, whose name was not being released to protect her family's
identity, was found by a friend after the accident.

Morrison said he had never operated on a patient with such extensive

The surgeons - two Australians, one Indian and two Japanese - used
microscopes to magnify tiny blood vessels up to 30 times in order to match
the vessels in the amputated tissue with the remaining tissue.

As they worked the woman was given up to 30 units of blood - almost double
the amount contained in a body.

The surgeons said they are confident that most of the face has been
successfully reattached, and that the woman will look much as she used to
with the exception of scars around her eyelids and chin. She remained
under sedation in intensive care.

If the scalp reattaches the woman may be able to go home within two weeks.
If not, she faces further surgery and skin grafts.

Morrison said the woman also may need surgery to improve the scars.

"But she will still be identifiable and have her own personality. She will
have animation of her face and the essential characteristics of her face
will be there," he said.

Las Vegas, Nevada:

Breathless callers say they were drunk and aren't sure if they exchanged
vows with someone. Others who wake up alone remember saying "I do" - but
to whom?

Left to sort out the tangles that come with tying the knot in Las Vegas
is the Clark County Recorder's Office. With more than 440 marriages
recorded daily, the office is among the busiest in the world. Last year,
there were nearly 105,000 marriages.

The office is so inundated with requests for marriage records that it's
putting its database online, beginning Monday.

Drawn by some of the most liberal marriage laws in the country, couples
by the thousands flock to this gambling mecca for quickie, no-frills
wedding ceremonies at one of the city's 50 chapels. Unlike most states,
no blood test or waiting period is required for the $35 marriage license.

Hundreds of inquiries pour into the office daily. In addition to calls
from people wanting to know if they actually are married, there are the
tabloids and newspapers wanting verification of a celebrity marriage and
the normal requests of wanting a new license or information on divorce.

Even parents call, checking to see if their child took the plunge.

Then there are the off-the-wall, absurd calls to which the employees in
the recorder's office have become accustomed.

"A lady called me and wanted to know if I could hide her marriage," Jeff
Jaeger, assistant county recorder, said Friday. "Her husband is in the
military and he apparently was married to someone else when he married

Cheryl Vernon, license bureau supervisor, listens to couples' stories as
they wait in line for a license.

"They do horse around a lot of time. They will say they met in each other
in line," she said.

Maybe so, but the day after the vows, it's serious fact-finding time.