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Man Born Without a Jaw: ‘Being born without a jaw came as a shock to my birth mother’

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41 old man born without a jaw who can’t eat, speak or breathe properly admits bullying left him suicidal – but says finding love with his wife has helped him believe in himself

Man Born Without a Jaw: 'Being born without a jaw came as a shock to my birth mother'
Man Born Without a Jaw: ‘Being born without a jaw came as a shock to my birth mother’

A man who experienced severe bullying throughout his life after being born with half of his face missing has revealed he no longer lets his condition hold him back and has tied the knot since improving his self-esteem.

Joseph Williams, 41, from Chicago, was born with an extraordinarily rare condition called otofacial facial syndrome which left him without a jaw.

The welder said people have run away from him in fear but he hasn’t let his condition hold him back from anything in life.

After meeting his wife, Vania, 39, in 2019, Joseph is happily married and loves travelling and socialising.

Man born without jaw is happily married and plans to become a DJMan Born Without a Jaw: 'Being born without a jaw came as a shock to my birth mother' Man Born without a jaw

Joseph, who doesn’t know the cause of the syndrome, communicates through sign language, gestures, writing notes and using his phone.

He eats by putting blended food through a tube into his stomach.

Joseph said: ‘Being born without a jaw came as a shock to my birth mother.

‘I was a twin but the other baby passed away before we were born.

‘When I was just a couple of days old, I was taken from Illinois, where I was born, to Chicago, for multiple surgeries.

‘I had a bone and skin graft as they tried to construct a jaw for me, but as I grew my body rejected it and it was unsuccessful.

‘And I was also put up for adoption which led to me meeting my adopted family.

‘Growing up was hard and being born like this has caused me many problems, but I have tried not to let it affect me.

‘I can’t eat, speak or even breathe properly.

‘I have a tube in my stomach which I can place blended food into, but this means that I have never tasted food.

The exceptionally rare lifelong condition which sees children born without a JAW

Otofacial syndrome is a rare congenital deformity in which a person is born without a mandible, and without a chin.

In nearly all cases, the child does not survive because it is unable to breathe and eat properly.

Even with reconstructive surgery, the tongue is extremely underdeveloped, often making unaided breathing and swallowing impossible.

The first challenge to survival is assisted breathing and tubal feeding. This is a lifelong affair, generally requiring the patient to spend nearly all of the time under direct hospital care.

In 2008, Alan Doherty, then-19, from Donegal, was propelled into the national spotlight when he embarked on an 18-month series of operations for a new chin.

His parents had been told he was unlikely to survive at birth and he spent much of his early life in hospital.

While he could manage not being able to talk or swallow, he found it difficult to deal with people constantly staring at him in the street.

After a huge fundraising effort by friends, family, and other people in the local area, he became the first person to have a series of operations to create a new jaw and chin.

In a process of nine different operations, doctors took a piece of bone from his hip and carved it into the shape of a jaw.

They then implanted the bone into his back to help it grow nerves and supportive tissue around it.

Later, it was removed, before it was then attached to his face, with extra tissue added to make his new chin look as realistic as possible.

However in 2009, he questioned whether he should have gone through with the surgery.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said he had been left with facial scarring and deep scars on his back and groin from the operations.

He said: ‘I didn’t expect to be all destroyed, messed up.

‘If I were made aware of how my back and jaws would turn out like before I went through any of the procedures, then maybe I wouldn’t have gone through the operations.’

‘I have a tube in my neck, called a trachea, which helps me breathe.

‘And I was taught sign language when I was two years old, to help me communicate.

‘However, since then I have also found other ways to help me communicate such as making notes and typing into my phone.’

Joseph had a hard time growing up with his condition and faced people running away and bullying him throughout his life.

He admits to sometimes wanting to hide away and cry, and that he has even considered taking his own life.




Bobby The Blogger

Bobby Amoah ( Bobby The Blogger) is the founder and CEO of SKBTRENDZ MEDIA COMPANY LTD. as well as Africa CNN. Digital marketing, website development, YouTube monetization, music distribution, artist Promotion, graphic designing, Music video production and edition, and social media brand Promotion are all skills that I possess aside my field of studies in Info-Tech. My social media channels are where you can find me and contact me for my services.

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