NEWS

Girl Has Football-Sized Tumour Removed From Face Thanks To Mercy Ships

08/10/2014 08:07 | Updated 08 October 2014

A girl with a life-threatening, football-sized tumour on her face has been saved by a 'Mercy Ship' floating hospital.

Grace, 17, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, faced eventual suffocation and had hidden herself from the outside world due to her appearance.

She said: "I was sick, I was always indoors, I was not happy any more, I worried all the time."

Story continues after slideshow... (graphic pictures)

Mercy Ships

Grace was still able to eat and breathe but the prognosis was dire.

Her local hospital was unable to help her but her case was taken up by a Christian pastor who got her aboard a floating hospital called the Africa Mercy.

The ship is part of a group called the Mercy Ships which travel around the world performing medical procedures for those who are too poor or isolated to receive adequate treatment.

The four-hour operation involved moving the teenager's tumour and replacing her lower jaw with titanium plates, leaving her appearance immeasurably improved.

Surgeon, Dr Gary Parker, said: "When she heals six months from now she can have artificial teeth if she wants. That will help her with her chewing – appearance-wise and functionally she should be able to have a normal life."

The experience has left Grace with a burning desire to study medicine and one day perhaps work for Mercy Ships.

Grace's story will appear in a new series of Body Bizarre, which airs every Thursday at 9pm on TLC

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