A teenage girl who was born with no eyes and no nose is preparing for an operation to create a nose from one of her ribs.
Next week, brave Cassidy Hooper, 17, from Charlotte, North Carolina, will have a bone removed from her rib cage and attached to her forehead - forming a bridge for her new nose.
Cassidy said she was ecstatic the final surgeries would take her 'one step closer to getting a nose like everyone else!'
It has taken six years for doctors to get the stage where they can be in a position to create a nose for Cassidy - a process they described as laying foundations for a house.
An operation in June moved Cassidy's eyes closer together while taking a section of her forehead bone, folding it down and also pulling enough skin downwards to create enough necessary for the bone to be implanted and create a nose at the end of the month.
When Cassidy was born, her condition left doctors baffled, especially since she had no other medical problems and leads a healthy life.
"Her heart and brain are normal," her mum Susan told TV news.
In the past, Cassidy used prosthetic eyes, but since they cost $5,000 each, the Hoopers could not afford to keep replacing them as their daughter grew.
Experts explained how the surgery to replace Cassidy's nose will be completed.
"The nose is a little like the ear -- what you see isn't functional," said Dr. Sherard A. Tatum III, director of facial and reconstructive surgery at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y.
"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 per cent 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."
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