Fighting the Curse of the Face-Eating Tumour
A Jehovah's Witness who for decades refused all surgery on his horrific facial disfigurement has been given hope by a British doctor and new medical technology.
Jose's condition, haemangioma, stems from abnormalities in the capillaries and veins in his face. In effect, what should be a river carrying blood back to his heart has turned into a lake, which has now expanded to obliterate the rest of his features.
Unwilling to accept a blood transfusion, Jose Mestre has allowed the bloody tumour that first appeared on his lip in adolescence to obliterate almost all of his face. Now 15 inches long and weighing 12 pounds, it has blinded him in one eye and made eating a daily ordeal. As it begins to block his airwaves, doctors fear his life could be in danger.
But now one of Britain's leading facial surgeons has proposed treating Jose, 51, by employing ultrasound waves to coagulate the blood before the operation. This should allow his growths to be removed without risk of heavy bleeding – satisfying his religious prohibition on blood transfusions that has so far hampered his search for treatment.
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Tags: Jose Mestre | Tumour | Surgery | Disfigurement | Face