For the past 10 years, Grace, a 17-year-old girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has suffered with a large growing facial tumor.
“It started from a little swelling inside and the gums started growing little by little,” she said in the clip of TLC UK’s “Body Bizarre,” above. “We went to hospital and they didn’t know what it was — they did nothing.”
The tumor eventually increased to the size of a football, and Grace felt sick and stayed indoors to avoid being stared at by others.
Even though she was able to eat and breathe, it was feared that the ever-growing tumor might eventually suffocate her, the Mirror reports.
But help has come for the brave teen, thanks to a floating hospital called the Africa Mercy, one of a group of “Mercy Ships” that travel around the world performing medical procedures for those who are too poor or isolated to receive adequate treatment.
Doctors performed a four-hour operation on Grace that involved removing the tumor and replacing her lower jaw with titanium plates, leaving her situation immeasurably improved, HuffPost UK reports.
Dr. Gary Parker, the surgeon who operated on Grace says after a six-month recovery period, she will be able to get artificial teeth that will help with her chewing.