Enter the strange case of Loretta.
Here is the moment surgeon Tim Martin uncovered the rare disease and saved Loretta’s face from being destroyed from the inside and save her life… eek!
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Who is Loretta?
Loretta is a 49-year-old police officer.
After inflammation in her cheek and jaw, the initial prognosis was that it was some form of cancer developing in either her facial tissue or her bones.
This disease was destroying the left side of her face and almost fusing her mouth shut.
What disease does Loretta have?
Consultant maxillofacial surgeon Tim and his team discovered it was actually a rare disease after nine months of medical testing.
It is called tumefactive fibroinflammatory disease.
However, it is a disease so rare that only a handful of surgeons in the world have attempted to operate on it.
Did Dr Tim cure her?
Loretta underwent months of chemotherapy and steroid injections to quell the spread of the disease.
But this method of treatment was unsuccessful.
When approaching the surgery, Tim said “I’m sh*tting bricks! I’m nervous about this one”, as this procedure is unchartered territory for surgeons around the world.
But the last resort surgery was a success despite the gruesome, nail-biting 12-hour procedure.
How did Loretta react?
Things were looking incredibly bleak for Loretta with the rare disease spreading throughout her face.
But as Tim stopped the disease from progressing into the base of her skull, things are now looking up for Loretta.
Although she will need more surgical procedures done to restore her normal face shape – including plastic surgery – she seems safe from the disease.
There are lots of moments when I’ve honestly thought this cannot have a happy ending. The nice thing today is that I’m coming out fairly confident that we’ve got a future and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re thrilled.
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WATCH SURGEONS: AT THE EDGE OF LIFE EVERY TUESDAY AT 9 PM ON BBC ONE.