Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery: Blessing’s Story

Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery: Blessing’s Story

Blessing, out of his curiosity, picked up a detonator and, unfortunately, it exploded
in his face. Pedzsai:
His young sister ran out crying, saying Blessing’s dead. Grandma, Blessing’s dead, Blessing’s
dead. Blessing:
Just after the explosion, I think I fainted for a few seconds or a few minutes. Then I
saw my sister running out of the room, then I knew like something big had happened. Pedzsai:
I’ve got a lot of faith. I’m not going to lose faith. Jennifer:
With his situation, there’s been a lot of ridicule. Words are used, monster and, you
know things that aren’t kind. Doing the surgery in Zimbabwe would never
have been an option. Mari Mora, Operation of Hope:
I’m so happy you’re here. Jennifer:
We will head down to Sharp and they’re going to be able to examine him and give us a better
idea of what the surgery is going to look like. Nurse:
This is Dr. Berger, Blessing. Dr. Berger:
Welcome. Blessing:
Nice to meet you. Dr. Berger:
Nice to meet you. Blessing:
(Inaudible). Nurse:
Ah, I like it. Martha Pamire, RN:
He says he feels like it’s just a dream. Things are just happening and he doesn’t
want to wake up. Jennifer:
Oh. His jaw is being held together, they say,
by like a piano wire. Dr. Berger:
See here Blessing is where you’re missing a bone. See from here to there. So what we
need to do is we need to rebuild your jaw bone because right now there’s nothing here.
Okay? And the bone we’re going to use for that is bone we’re going to take from your
leg. The bone that we’re harvesting is the fibula and then we make cuts in it so that
we’re able to bend that bone and it reconstructs this whole thing and it fits exactly. You
need the foundation and then on top of the foundation goes everything else. We put in
these little titanium artificial tooth roots and then once those heal to the bone, presto.
We’re going to take a special 3D X-ray and then we actually virtually do his surgery. Voice on conference call:
Okay and then which fibula is going to be used for reconstruction? Dr. Berger:
Do you want right or left? Dr. James Chao:
Which foot do you kick the soccer ball with? Blessing:
The right. Dr. Chao:
Okay, we’ll take the left. Dr. Berger:
Left. Just doing this on the table it would take
us hours to figure out the cuts and the measurements. So by doing this virtual like this it saves
a huge amount of operating room time. Mari:
I’m so happy for him that he will have a face that matches the person inside. He’s
so charismatic and intelligent and it will just be great that people will see that first
and not his accident. It’s a new beginning. They’re texting his dad to let him know
that he’s going into surgery. Martha:
And I was actually talking to his father and he say, “Oh, I can’t hold my tears, they’re
just coming out, you know?” Pre-op Nurse:
Do you want to listen to your heart? Blessing:
Uh-uh. Nurse:
It’s in there, trust me. Jennifer:
I could have searched the world over and this is where we needed to be. Blessing:
I’m supposed to (inaudible). Mari:
A girl from Zimbabwe who he wasn’t able to say goodbye to and so he’s been kind
of upset and we were able to find her number and he could call right before his surgery,
so now he’s kind of blushing a little. Ramelia Williams, Chaplain:
So let me pray for you. God, I thank you for Blessing. I think you for this amazing journey
that you have placed him on. Now we pray that all of the doctors and nurses would have your
wisdom and your guidance. Dr. Chao:
He’s got his whole life ahead of him and not to be able to really do things that we
take for granted such as eating and swallowing and the normal functions and to have that
opportunity to give back that, that’s what this is all about. We can change somebody’s
life. We’re going to make our first cut here and
this is the second that we’re going to end up pulling out. The bone in the leg, the fibula,
has been removed. (Overtalk) we’ll be cutting like this, like this, like this. You can sort
of see now that looks like the projection of the jaw. Dr. Berger:
He’s going to hook this up to vessels in the neck, so this becomes a live bone graft.
Dr. Chao, here’s your vein. Dr. Chao:
Dr. Berger, I love you. The next move is for me then to bring blood
supply. There is a time constraint because we only have so much time to get the bone
revascularized. Dr. Thomas Vecchione:
You always keep your fingers crossed because when you’ve had scar tissue and an injury
there before you don’t know if it’s all going to work out fine. Dr Chao:
It’s no longer a fibula or a leg bone, it is now a jaw bone and it is alive and it is
being perfused with blood. Dr. Berger:
Yeah, that chin has really… really has nice projection now. Dr. Ben Javid:
Hey buddy, it’s done. Dr. Berger:
You did great. Good man. OR staff:
It looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Martha:
We’re all happy for him. These are tears of joy. Jennifer:
He looks fabulous. He looks great. I wasn’t expecting such a change. Dr. Javid:
Alright. Almost. Almost. Blessing:
Oh (inaudible). Dr. Javid:
There you go. That’s my buddy. You did it. Dr. Berger:
Our emotions are expressed in our face. Even with his deformity he had this inner something
about him. Martha:
He feels like it’s just a dream. Oh. Pedzsai:
Saying Blessing’s dead, Blessing’s dead. Jennifer:
Words are used, monster and… Pedzsai:
I’m not going to lose faith. Ramelia:
So let me pray for you. God I thank you for Blessing. I thank you for this amazing journey
that you have placed him on. He has come a very long way. Bev Self, RN:
The opportunity to see him transform and watching this has been really a blessing for us. My gosh, your chin looks so good. Gosh, it
just turned out so good didn’t it? Blessing:
Yeah. I mean it really does Blessing, so… Blessing:
Yeah. Bev:
Little by little. Little by little. Dr. Javid:
How you doing buddy? Alright, good, good. Dr. Berger:
Well here we go. He’s gonna get his new smile. This is the ta-da moment. Bang he has
his teeth, he has his smile. Dental assistant:
This day has finally come. Blessing:
I have waited for a very long time. Dental assistant:
I know. I know you have. Blessing:
Seven years tomorrow. Dental assistant:
I know. Oh my gosh. Dr. Javid:
You’re have way too much fun at the dentist. Here we go. Give me a big smile. Blessing:
Oh. They’re really good. Dr. Javid:
You like them? Blessing:
Uh-huh. Dr. Javid:
Alright. Blessing:
I love them. It’s like the best feeling I’ve had in a very long time. Now it’s
here. Dr. Berger:
A little hard to believe? Blessing:
Yeah. Dr. Berger:
It’s all right, it’s been a long road. It’s the soul of this person that’s shining
through in his smile and that’s making you smile. This young man had something special
and so this just makes him complete. Blessing:
I have to get used to my new grill, yeah.

19 thoughts on “Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery: Blessing’s Story

  1. Blessing’s face was destroyed in a horrific accident that took place in Zimbabwe Africa when he was 9 years old. Under the care of Dr. Joel Berger and a team of surgeons at Sharp Memorial Hospital, Blessing will undergo reconstructive surgery that will truly change his life.
    Watch more:

  2. I'm a dentist.  I hope to continue to take classes and training so that I can one day help a patient like Blessing.  His inner spirit and strength is astounding.

  3. Something as simple as biting into an apple is often taken for granted until u don't have teeth…What a beautiful outcome, God bless all those involved…

  4. Hey .. it's too bad you couldn't do the 3D imaging and then use one of those 3D printers to CREATE a new perfect jaw without using his leg bone .. or maybe using cells and grow them in a lab?

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