Turning the Impossible into a Touch: The Incredible Journey of Tessa Evans, Born Without a Nose
Tessa Evans, a girl born with a rare congenital condition called arrhinia, has embarked on an extraordinary journey filled with hope and resilience. Her parents, Nathan and Garinne Evans, discovered her condition during pregnancy and started a battle to ensure their daughter would have a fulfilling life.
Instead of opting for conventional reconstructive therapies, Dr. Jonathan Britto from the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London proposed a cutting-edge solution for Tessa’s unique case. They would design an implant that would be replaced over time with new implants tailored to the growing contours of her face.
This innovative approach aims to prevent the facial scars typically associated with traditional reconstructions. The road ahead is not easy, as the doctors will use a 3D-printed model of Tessa’s skull to guide the process.
“While the nose won’t serve its natural function as a respiratory passage, it will provide excellent aesthetic results,” explained Dr. Britto. “With this new method, and a subsequent implant at each stage of growth, we will achieve tissue expansion. The nostrils won’t be real but tattooed, yet the appearance will be that of a normal nose,” he added.
Unlike previous methods, the implant is inserted beneath the skin through an incision in the scalp, leaving no visible scars on the face. When it’s time to replace the implant with a larger one, the incision is opened like an envelope, repeating the process until Tessa reaches adolescence and receives her final nasal prosthesis.
As a newborn, Tessa spent five weeks intubated with a tracheotomy, enabling her to breathe without difficulty. “The doctors had to stabilize her so she could breathe on her own, and that’s when they allowed me to hold her for the first time,” recalled her mother. Over time, the little one learned to breathe through her mouth.
“With this method, we can mitigate the most negative effects. It’s a truly exciting alternative, considering that in the next decade, the girl will benefit from all the technological advancements in 3D printing, which are revolutionizing the field of prosthetics,” expressed Dr. Britto.
Tessa’s remarkable journey is a testament to the power of innovation, compassion, and the unwavering determination to overcome challenges. Her story inspires us all to never lose hope and embrace the possibilities that lie ahead.