This photo shows a cancer survivor who received a scalp transplant – it was used in a satirical article about a brain transplant

A photo of a man with stitches in his head has been shared in multiple Facebook and Twitter posts that claim he had five car accidents in two weeks after having brain transplant surgery. The claim is false; the photo has circulated in news reports since 2015 about an American cancer survivor who received a scalp transplant; the story about a man who had a brain transplant previously appeared on a satirical website.

The image and claim were published on Facebook here by a Pakistan-based page with more than 9,500 followers.

Below is a screenshot of the misleading post on Facebook:

A screenshot of the misleading post on Facebook

The text in the post states in part: “Man who had woman’s brain transplanted had five car crashes in two weeks.

It also says: “53-year-old man named Phil Robertson from Scranton in Pennsylvania was miraculously saved from a brain cancer a few months ago by undergoing a successful brain transplant.

“He received the brain of a 37-year old woman who had died in a car accident and the operation had unforeseen consequences for the poor man.”

Posts making a similar claim were also shared here and here on Facebook and here on Twitter.

The claim is false; the photo previously appeared in news reports about a 55-year-old cancer survivor named Jim Boysen, who was the first man to receive a partial skull and scalp transplant in May 22, 2015, at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Below is a screenshot of this Indonesian-language BBC report from the time which contains the image, translated to English:

A screenshot of the BBC report

Some of the false posts also included a photo of a man referred to as Dr. James Ford.

But a reverse image found the same photo published here on November 8, 2011 on a Flickr page that describes itself as the official "Army Medicine" account of the US military.

Below is a screenshot of the photo as it appears on Flickr:

A screenshot of the photo

The caption states in part: "Army Col. (Dr.) George E. Peoples explains how cancer vaccines help to combat breast cancer during an interview at San Antonio Military Medical Center."

The story about a man who had five car crashes after a brain transplant was previously published on the satirical site World News Daily Report here on November 29, 2018.

Below is a screenshot of the satire story, headlined "Man who had woman’s brain transplanted has five car crashes in two weeks":

A screenshot of the satire story

The tagline of the World News Daily Report website is "Where facts don't matter" and it carries a disclaimer here stating that all its stories are satirical and fictional in nature.

Adeng Mayik