A teenager from North Carolina, Cassidy Hooper, 16, is undergoing a series of surgeries to rebuild her face and give her the nose that she never had. The three surgeries will use bone and cartilage from her head over a period of two weeks so doctors can construct a nose for the brave teenager.
Cassidy Hooper told ABC news that her condition baffled doctors when she was born.
"Her heart and brain are normal," her mother, Susan Hooper, told ABC News.
"Nothing else is going on with her."
For the last five years her doctor, Dr. David Matthews, at the Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, has been performing surgeries to expand her face in order to prepare the teenager for the grafting of skin that will give her a functional nose.
"The nose is a little like the ear -- what you see isn't functional," Dr. Sherard A. Tatum III, director of facial and reconstructive surgery at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y. , told ABC News.
"A lot of people have noses they lost to trauma and cancer and breathe fine and have a sense of smell. The nose is something we expect to see in its conventional place and it's good to put glasses on, but it's not 100 percent necessary."
"The soft tissues that make up the inside and the outside skin and mucus membrane don't have a lot of strength to stick out of the face like the nose does. You can't just slap some skin up there and make it look like a nose."
The teenager currently competes in track and field and dreams one day of being a radio host and has already performed a radio show on her local station.
Click here to see pictures of Cassidy's transformation.
Published by Medicaldaily.com