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


Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check has partnered with Facebook to combat fake news and false information on the social platform. This fact-check is part of the initiative.

As part of its third-party fact-checking programme, Facebook allows its partners to see public articles, pictures or videos that have been flagged as potentially inaccurate.

Content rated as “false” by fact-checkers will be downgraded in news feeds. This means fewer people will see it.

You can help us identify fake news and false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

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