Gunshot survivor woman gets prosthetic faceJuly 18th, 2010 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS
London, July 18 (IANS) A woman, who had her face blown off by a shotgun blast when she was 16, has been given a prosthetic replacement.
Chrissy Steltz, 27, from Milwaukie, Oregon, was shot accidentally at close range by a friend at a party in March 1999.
The shot blew a huge hole in her face where her eyes and nose used to be. Steltz went into a coma and spent six weeks in hospital, reports the Telegraph.
Doctors said it was a miracle that she was not killed but the blast left her badly disfigured. She was also blinded and lost part of her hearing.
Steltz, who married last year and has a one-year-old child, wore a sleeping mask to cover the hole but has now been given a prosthetic replacement 11 years later.
Doctors used photographs of her as a child to create the mask as they thought she would look like now.
Doctors used bone from her right leg, skin grafts, screws and metal plates to ensure the face stays fixed.
Steltz was quoted as saying that the face was “going really well”.
Eric Dierks, a maxillofacial surgeon who helped Steltz, said: “The blast itself removed the contents of her left eye socket, removed her nose and the supporting mid-facial structures and damaged her right eye to the extent that she lost vision.
“It’s unique to have an injury of this magnitude to the middle part of the face that removes the vision of both eyes, that removes the nose yet allows the injury to the base of the brain to heal.”
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Tags: 11 years, close range, doctors, eye socket, facial structures, gunshot, left eye, magnitude, mask, maxillofacial surgeon, metal plates, milwaukie oregon, miracle, prosthetic replacement, screws, shotgun blast, six weeks, skin grafts, survivor, telegraph