A South Dakota mother who has lived most of her life with a life-threatening malformation on her face has been given a new chance at life after doctors completed a very peculiar surgery for her very rare condition.
Jennifer Hiles, 29, has arterial venous malformation, which has resulted in redness, swelling and bleeding. Shortly after her birth, she began bleeding from the nose and gums almost daily. At age 5, she needed a portacath in her heart because of the blood loss, Hiles told KSFY.
For years, doctors were baffled by Hiles’ skin condition, and something her grandmother saw on television changed her life forever.
“I guess it wasn’t really until middle school when my grandma was watching TV, and she found Dr. Waner from Little Rock, Arkansas. He was doing surgery on something that looked similar to mine, and we started going to see him there.”
The doctor wanted to remove the growths from Hiles’ face, but it would take a number of surgeries to do it. The most recent was the most unusual.
To prepare for the surgery, doctors placed balloons under Hiles’ skin on her forehead and cheek to stretch the skin, which would be used for grafts after the malformations were removed.
A few months ago, the balloons were removed, and Hiles underwent surgery to remove the growth on her face. After the procedure, she was presented with her new face — a face she couldn’t be happier with.
“I’m happy with where I’m at right now with all the progress. Just to see how far I’ve come makes me so hopeful for the future,” she told the U.K. Daily Mail.
Doctors have predicted the AVM will grow back, the Daily Mail reported. However, they believed they would be able to manage the regrowth, and the good news is that Hiles is no longer in danger of dying from a hemorrhage.
Hiles is scheduled to have more surgery after the first of the year. She created a GoFundMe account for costs involved.
Watch coverage of Hiles’ journey below. (WARNING: This video contains graphic content.)
This is just one example of how modern medicine is amazing.
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