Thursday, July 2, 2015

Boy Born Without Eyes, Nose, or Jaw Undergoes Life-Changing Surgery


A three-year-old Moroccan boy born without eyes, nose and upper jaw has come out of reconstructive surgery with a smile. In Yahya Jabaly’s risky 18 hour surgery, doctors were able to remodel the bones in his face and give him new facial features.


Yahya Jabaly was born in a small town in Morocco and spent his life in isolation. The failure for his skull to fuse in the womb resulted in his disfigurement, though doctors are unsure why this happened. Yahya’s mouth was a “mangled mess” as certain parts of the bone hadn’t melded in the right place. He didn’t have any eye balls and instead of a nose, he had a huge hole, through which you could see the skull.

“It's sporadic, it’s not genetic and most kids would not survive pregnancy. But some do," Tony Holmes, who led the surgery, told Channel Seven.

Yahya's birth and survival is considered a miracle in itself, but he was kept out of sight due to his risks of infections. Yahya had a vitamin D deficiency and was also anemic.

The boy's parents also struggled to find a surgeon who was willing to operate. Having exhausted all their options in Morocco, a family friend made a Facebook post pleading for a medical professional to help Yahya in any way. The incredibly popular post was eventually seen by Morocco-born Melbourne resident Fatima Bakara, who was so moved by the images that she spent months looking for a surgeon to help Yahya out. Holmes, one of Australia’s best reconstructive surgeons, agreed to step in.

"I believe that it’s the right of everybody to look human and this kid doesn’t look human," Holmes told Channel Seven. Holmes did warn that "Yahya may not die if we don’t operate but he might if we do."

The surgery was incredibly complex, with Holmes ranking it a “9.5-out-of-10 degree of difficulty.” The surgeons' biggest challenge was a lack of information, as they were unsure how Yahya’s brain functioned.

Channel Seven aired the moment Yahya’s parent’s saw his new face, who were overcome with emotion and brought to tears.

"It's a huge joy, a huge happiness to see my son in such a situation," Yahya's father, Mostafa, said.
Baraka was equally thrilled about the success of the operation. "I just can't believe what he's been through and how he just comes out and gets better and better every time," she said.

"He looks like a normal little boy."



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