15-year-old Emily Eccles was left with half of her jaw hanging off by 1cm sliver of skin after she smacked into a gatepost while riding a horse. It was one of the worst conditions doctors had ever seen.
After seeing her bones and teeth dangling below her, she feared she would appear like a zombie for life.
Emily has now called for her surgeon to receive a knighthood after he managed to reconstruct her face with three titanium places and 160 stitches.
The teen smacked into a gatepost after an oncoming vehicle spooked the horse and suddenly bolted. The side of her jaw was detached completely, forcing her to support the remnants of her face with her hands.
“I just looked down and I was like, ‘I don’t know what that is,’” Emily said. “I just looked down and I could see teeth and bone and I said, ‘is that my jaw?’”
Surgeon Ricardo Mohammed-Ali said: “It could have been worse, but it is one of the most significant injuries that I have seen in a child outside of areas of conflict.
“Emily’s injury was significant in that the entire left side of her lower jaw from the front of the jaw to the joint was pulled away from the face and only retained by a small strip of skin.
“The nerves that supply sensation to the lip and chin was torn on both sides. Branches of the facial nerve that move the muscles of the lower lip were severed on both sides. The lower part of Emily’s face was only attached by a piece of skin.”
It took five and a half hours to build Emily’s face together.
“It was like something you see in a film, it was really quite horrific,” Emily expressed.
“At first I was thinking, I don’t know what I’m going to do, I’m not going to look like me, I’m not going to have the same kind of life as I did before.”
The teen hailed Mr. Mohammad-Ali’s work and has written to the Queen to get him knighted.
Emily’s mother, 50-year-old Michelle, has also called the surgeon’s work ‘miraculous.’ “Mr. Mohammed-Ali said that a centimeter either way would have been catastrophic,” she said.
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