WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: Emily Eccles’ face had to be completely rebuilt after she suffered horrific injuries in a horse-riding accident where she “caught” her own jaw to stop it falling off completely.
In what her surgeon described the worst injury he had seen outside of a war zone, part of the 15-year-old’s jaw became completely separated from her face, leaving some of her teeth hanging around her neck, The Independent reported.
The teenager was riding with a friend in August through countryside in Baslow, a village in Derbyshire, England, when her horse was spooked by the noise of a car’s exhaust popping.
The horse sped away in fright, forcing her to lose her stirrups and slide to one side.
Unable to straighten herself in time, she smashed her head forcefully on a gate post, causing her jaw to crack and a huge gush of blood to come flooding out.
“I just looked down and I was like, ‘I don’t know what that is’,” she told the publication.
She said once she was in the ambulance, she “just looked down and I could see teeth and bone and I said, ‘is that my jaw?’
The student was rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital and after a five-and-a-half hour operation, surgeon Ricardo Mohammed-Ali had rebuilt her face.
In what her mother described a “miracle”, Emily returned to school just one month later.
This was the furthest concept from her mind initially though, saying she barely recognised herself following the horror accident.
“It was like something you see in a film, it was really quite horrific. At first I was thinking, I don’t know what I’m going to do, I’m not going to look like me, I’m not going to have the same kind of life as I did before,” she said.
Fortunately, Dr Mohammed-Ali, who fused Emily’s face back together using three titanium plates and more than 160 stitches, said her scars would be hardly noticeable from speaking-distance in a year’s time.
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