A victim of horrific facial disfigurement - known
man with no face" - has been given new hope by the
advancement of medical science.
Jose Mestre, from Lisbon, Portugal, has been
face to a huge growth for the past 35 years,
it out of all recognition - and it's still
The tumor on 51-year-old Jose's face is a
blood vessels that have expanded, producing a
area on the skin.
Jose was born with a strawberry-coloured birthmark
upper lip. At puberty it began growing, eventually
his lips, nose and one of his eyes. Now it is 33cm
and weighs 3kg.
But Jose's religious faith - as a Jehovah's
Witness he refuses
to accept a blood transfusion - has prevented him
surgery to remove the growth.
Jose's rare condition was the subject of a
TV documentary 'The Man With No Face', part of the
It reveals how top medical experts in London have
out hope of helping Jose, a well-known figure
streets of Lisbon.
A leading British surgeon has offered to treat
ultrasound waves to coagulate the blood before the
This should remove the risk of heavy bleeding -
his religious beliefs about blood transfusions in
Dr Iain Hutchison, of St Bartholomew's in London,
an operation with a harmonic scalpel could make
a lot more normal.
Discovery Channel said: "Surrounded by a loving
it seems incredible that he has not been treated
face was allowed to grow so big. However, through
of medical misinformation, some misdiagnosis, lack
and reluctance to undergo treatment due to
the growth has continued to obliterate his face."
My Shocking Story follows Jose on a journey
to seek medical advice for one last chance to stop
from suffocating him.
In this journey of a lifetime he travels by train,
to Britain, to meet the top experts in London. He
a series of tests, consultations, and meets other
with a similar affliction. In London he also
with his sister Guida and the rest of his family,
being a tourist in London, while making the
of his life.
Jose's dream is to live a long and normal life.
the showing of the Discovery documentary he
adhere to his 'no blood transfusion' religious
But he has agreed to go back to the London
hospital in 2008,
when doctors hope to carry out specialist surgery
removing parts of his tumor, without the need for
- December 24, 2007.