Back to Africa Check

Woman’s brain transplanted into man? Story is fiction

“Man who had a woman's brain transplanted has five car crashes in two weeks,” declares a screenshot of an article shared on a South African Facebook group page.

It shows a photo of a man with a row of surgical stitches across his forehead and a gauze dressing on the back of his skull.



Partial skull and scalp transplants


A reverse image search using the photo reveals the man is Jim Boysen from Texas in the US. 

According to CBS News, on 22 May 2015 Boysen underwent a 15-hour partial skull and scalp transplant at the Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas. 

The surgery was to repair damage caused by brain cancer treatment. The radiation used had left him with a large head wound.

Along with the scalp and skull (not brain) transplants, he also received a new kidney and pancreas in two operations spanning 24 hours.

In a video on the CBS News website, Boysen is interviewed alongside his doctors.

The story was also reported by the Washington Post and the Guardian, and by the hospital at which some of Boysen’s doctors were based. CBS and Globe and Mail both said “the donor was not identified”.

Fictional article


The story of the brain transplant is made up – but it’s satire, not false news.

It comes from World News Daily Report, a satirical website with a disclaimer that its articles are entirely fictional. – Grace Gichuhi




 

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Further Reading

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters