Sunday, June 01, 2008
THE MAN WITH NO FACE - MEDICAL SCIENCE OFFERS HOPE...
Medical offers new hope to face-eating tumor man.
Jose Mestre and his sister Guida in London. Pictures below story show Jose aged 14 when the tumor was still small, and as he is now.
A victim of horrific facial disfigurement - known as "the man with no face" - has been given new hope by the advancement of medical science.
Jose Mestre, from Lisbon, Portugal, has been losing his face to a huge growth for the past 35 years, distorting it out of all recognition - and it's still growing.
The tumor on 51-year-old Jose's face is a collection of blood vessels that have expanded, producing a raised red area on the skin.
Jose was born with a strawberry-coloured birthmark on his upper lip. At puberty it began growing, eventually smothering his lips, nose and one of his eyes. Now it is 33cm long and weighs 3kg.
But Jose's religious faith - as a Jehovah's Witness he refuses to accept a blood transfusion - has prevented him from having surgery to remove the growth.
Jose's rare condition was the subject of a Discovery Channel TV documentary 'The Man With No Face', part of the 'My Shocking Story' series.
It reveals how top medical experts in London have now held out hope of helping Jose, a well-known figure around the streets of Lisbon.
A leading British surgeon has offered to treat Jose using ultrasound waves to coagulate the blood before the operation.
This should remove the risk of heavy bleeding - satisfying his religious beliefs about blood transfusions in the process.
Dr Iain Hutchison, of St Bartholomew's in London, is confident an operation with a harmonic scalpel could make him look a lot more normal.
Full story and other pictures