The Man With No Face
For the past 35 years, 51 year-old Jose Mestre, from Lisbon, has been losing his face to a massive growth, distorting it out of all recognition – and it's still growing.
The tumour on Jose's face is a vascular malformation, a collection of blood vessels that have expanded, producing a raised red area on the skin. Jose was born with a strawberry-coloured birth mark on his upper lip; at puberty his face started growing, eventually smothering his lips, nose and one of his eyes. It's now about 33cm long and weighs around 3kg.
The Man with No Face meets the man behind the 'mask' and attempts to understand what it is like to have such an affliction. How does he cope with day to day life - with the stares, the ridicule and people taking photographs?
Surrounded by a loving family, it seems incredible that he has not been treated and his face was allowed to grow so big. However, through years of medical misinformation, some misdiagnosis, lack of finances, and reluctance to undergo treatment due to religious beliefs, the growth has continued to obliterate his face.
My Shocking Story follows Jose on a journey through Europe to seek medical advice for one last chance to stop his face from suffocating him. In this journey of a lifetime he will discover the truth about his condition, as he travels by train, via Paris, to Britain, to meet the top experts in London. He will go through a series of tests, consultations, and meet other patients with a similar affliction. Here he will also spend time with his brother and the rest of his family, enjoy being a tourist in London, while making the biggest decision of his life:
Jose's dream is to live a long and normal life. Will he decide to change his religious beliefs, and risk an operation to remove his malformation, or will he decide against surgery and accept that he will continue living the rest of his life without a face?
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- Saving Faces aims to reduce facial injuries and diseases worldwide through education and research. Aims to improve the physical and psychological treatment of all victims of oral cancer and other facial diseases by leading research into these conditions and injuries
- Changing Faces is a national charity based in the UK that supports and represents people who have disfigurements of the face or body from any cause. The programme interviewed James Partridge, the founder of Changing Faces
- The Birthmark Support Group was set up by parents of children with birthmarks in December 1998 at the suggestion of Drs Harper and Syed from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. Its objective is to provide a UK based support group for anyone with a birthmark
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