Life can be very cruel sometimes.
http://www.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/02/03/prosthetic.face/index.htmlGetting a new face after rare infection
February 8, 2002
When a rare fungal infection called mucormycosis invaded Mark Tatum's sinuses two years ago, doctors had to remove much of his face just to save his life. ...
If they hadn't taken out his infected eyes, nose, cheekbones, upper jaw and teeth, the fungus could have traveled to his brain and killed him.
"Initially, we didn't think he was going to survive. The prognosis was extremely grim," said Dr. Wayne K. Stadelmann, a plastic surgeon with the University of Louisville Medical Center. ...
Now, two years and 11 surgeries later, Tatum has a new face.
"Look at me now," the 45-year-old Owensboro, Kentucky, resident said. "I may not be beautiful, but I'm damn near it." ...
Using skin and tissue from his leg, doctors reconstructed the roof of Tatum's mouth so he could speak and eat.
Then they took a bone from his leg and put it into his face. On top of that bone they built titanium bridgework. Magnets in that bridgework hold in place a new prosthetic "face."
It was created by University of Louisville prosthodontist Zafrulla Khan, who called the prosthesis the most extensive he has ever made or heard about.
Tatum, who wears sunglasses to hide the fact that his fake eyes don't blink, hopes that the prosthetic will get him out more in public.
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