26-year-old woman, suicidal after a rare genetic disease, saw her face melt away and found love

A woman who was deformed and suicidal after a rare illness made her face collapse revealed that she has now found love.

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Karla Deyes, now 26, from Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, was quickly taken to the hospital as a five-year-old with major convulsions.

Two years later, she was diagnosed with Parry-Romberg syndrome, which causes shrinkage and degeneration of tissues under the skin.

But now, thanks to jaw surgery, new found self-confidence and a transfer of fat to her face, Karla has never been so happy – and is in love with her boyfriend Luke, 29.

Karla hopes she can inspire other Parry-Romberg patients to be proud of what they look like.

Karla Deyes, now 26, was rushed to the hospital when she was five years old when she had major convulsions

Karla Deyes, now 26, was rushed to the hospital when she was five years old when she had major convulsions

Two years later, she was diagnosed with Parry-Romberg syndrome, which causes shrinkage and degeneration of tissues under the skin. Pictured: age 4 for the syndrome
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Two years later, she was diagnosed with Parry-Romberg syndrome, which causes shrinkage and degeneration of tissues under the skin. Pictured: age 4 for the syndrome

Karla starts at the age of 5 with signs of Parry-Rombery syndrome

Karla starts at the age of 5 with signs of Parry-Rombery syndrome

Two years later, she was diagnosed with Parry-Romberg syndrome, which causes shrinkage and degeneration of tissues under the skin. Left: Karla, age 4 for the syndrome, right: Karla, age five, is starting to show signs of the syndrome

The disease meant that the left side of her face slowly & # 39; fell or melted & # 39 ;, giving her a crooked or asymmetrical appearance.

Brave Karla endured years of depression and failed operations and often told her family that she wanted to die.

Her self-esteem plummeted and she was startled by cameras & mirrors and covered her face with her hair.

Commercial manager Karla said: & # 39; There was no one to talk with growing up because I didn't know anyone else who had what I had. & # 39;

The condition meant that the left side of her face slowly & # 39; fell or melted & # 39; left her with a crooked or asymmetrical appearance - brave Karla endured years of depression and failed operations and often told her family she wanted to die
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The condition meant that the left side of her face slowly & # 39; fell or melted & # 39; left her with a crooked or asymmetrical appearance - brave Karla endured years of depression and failed operations and often told her family she wanted to die

The condition meant that the left side of her face slowly & # 39; fell or melted & # 39; left her with a crooked or asymmetrical appearance – brave Karla endured years of depression and failed operations and often told her family she wanted to die

Karla (pictured with Luke) hopes she can inspire other Parry-Romberg patients to be proud of what they look like.

Karla (pictured with Luke) hopes she can inspire other Parry-Romberg patients to be proud of what they look like.

Karla (pictured with Luke) hopes she can inspire other Parry-Romberg patients to be proud of what they look like.

& # 39; I felt the only one like me in the world. I was with my aunt once and told her that tomorrow I would rather die of cancer than have a lifetime to do with it. She was in pieces.

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& # 39; From the age of six I knew that I was not normal. I could see the entire left side of my face begin to fall or melt – it was crooked by the time I was a teenager.

& # 39; My left leg did not grow as fast as my right leg. It affected the amount of muscles and tissues I had on that side of my body – that side is still thinner. & # 39;

Karla, pictured with Luke, said the left side of her face began to fall at six o'clock - it was crooked by the time she was a teenager

Karla, pictured with Luke, said the left side of her face began to fall at six o'clock - it was crooked by the time she was a teenager

Karla, pictured with Luke, said the left side of her face began to fall at six o'clock – it was crooked by the time she was a teenager

& # 39; My family told me not to worry about what people thought or what I looked like. That didn't stop me from covering my hair on the left side of my face because I was sad.

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& # 39; School children sometimes laughed or stared, but I tried to avoid situations by walking around them or crossing the road.

& # 39; Now I can have another conversation with someone. I can walk on the street and I don't care what someone who looks at me thinks. I can look someone in the eye again.

& # 39; In my opinion, if you can find someone to help, you should do it. & # 39;

Although it can be dormant for years, Parry-Romberg syndrome can be caused by trauma, and Karla said that hers did not emerge until she had an MMR booster vaccine.

However, Parry-Romberg syndrome is incredibly rare and there is no evidence that this is caused by vaccinations.

Although it can be dormant for years, Parry-Romberg syndrome can be caused by trauma, and Karla said that hers did not emerge until she had an MMR booster vaccine.
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Although it can be dormant for years, Parry-Romberg syndrome can be caused by trauma, and Karla said that hers did not emerge until she had an MMR booster vaccine.

Although it can be dormant for years, Parry-Romberg syndrome can be caused by trauma, and Karla said that hers did not emerge until she had an MMR booster vaccine.

She was a normal girl with no clear health issues before being rushed to Old Church Hospital, Romford, to treat a convulsion.

& # 39; I don't remember much about it, but I can remember that I had an IV drip in the hospital for a while, & # 39; she said.

Karla underwent a painful transition when the disease attacked one side of her body and slowly began to spread to the other.

& # 39; When I was five, I couldn't wear certain shoes because it was so painful, & # 39; she said.

& # 39; Shoes were and are still the only clothing I am struggling with. & # 39;

After years of testing, Karla was finally diagnosed with Parry-Romberg syndrome and a strong chemotherapy agent was prescribed to stop the spread.

The disease had caused her backbone to curve sideways when her right side grew faster than her left.

Karla underwent a painful transition when the disease attacked one side of her body and slowly began to spread to the other

Karla underwent a painful transition when the disease attacked one side of her body and slowly began to spread to the other

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Karla underwent a painful transition when the disease attacked one side of her body and slowly began to spread to the other

At one point she was told that she could be in a wheelchair before she turned 30.

When she was eleven, the doctors pierced Karla's right knee to stop the growth on her right and correct her twisted backbone.

Then, two years later, she had reconstructive facial surgery that went wrong, leaving Karla with damaged facial nerves and deep scars.

& # 39; The operation has failed – it has killed all the nerves in my face and I have no feeling in my face & she said.

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& # 39; It sounds extreme, but I had to learn to eat and drink again. Apart from the scars, you could not say that I had done anything. & # 39;

After years of testing, Karla was finally diagnosed with Parry-Romberg syndrome and a strong chemotherapy agent was prescribed to stop the spread. The disease had caused her backbone to curve sideways when her right side grew faster than her left. Pictured: Karla before her surgery

After years of testing, Karla was finally diagnosed with Parry-Romberg syndrome and a strong chemotherapy agent was prescribed to stop the spread. The disease had caused her backbone to curve sideways when her right side grew faster than her left. Pictured: Karla before her surgery

After years of testing, Karla was finally diagnosed with Parry-Romberg syndrome and a strong chemotherapy agent was prescribed to stop the spread. The disease had caused her backbone to curve sideways when her right side grew faster than her left. Pictured: Karla before her surgery

Karla became depressed, hid her face and jumped away from the camera and reflected herself on what had happened.

Although her family supported her, she felt alone. & # 39; However, it was harder when I was younger, because they wanted me to be happy, & # 39; she said.

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& # 39; They rowed for me – but they also wanted me to be something that I was not.

Karla became depressed, hid her face and jumped away from the camera and reflected herself on what had happened. Although her family supported her, she felt alone

Karla became depressed, hid her face and jumped away from the camera and reflected herself on what had happened. Although her family supported her, she felt alone

Karla became depressed, hid her face and jumped away from the camera and reflected herself on what had happened. Although her family supported her, she felt alone

Karla & # 39; s confidence was at a new high point and she showed her personality and her face by having her hair cut shorter. She started dating and was beaten with friend Luke, a project manager at Woodham.

Karla & # 39; s confidence was at a new high point and she showed her personality and her face by having her hair cut shorter. She started dating and was beaten with friend Luke, a project manager at Woodham.

Karla & # 39; s confidence was at a new high point and she showed her personality and her face by having her hair cut shorter. She started dating and was beaten with friend Luke, a project manager at Woodham.

Karla had an 18-year-old jaw operation and then a surgical fat transfer – also known as a transplant – to fill in her 22-year-old face.

Karla & # 39; s confidence was at a new high point and she showed her personality and her face by having her hair cut shorter.

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She started dating and was beaten with friend Luke, a project manager at Woodham.

But what Karla really hopes is that she can inspire other Parry-Romberg patients to pick themselves up and be proud of their looks.

& # 39; There must be other people who suffer like me – but I haven't met anyone yet. I've always wanted to do good in life, I've always wanted to prove people wrong. & # 39;

WHAT IS PARRY-ROMBERG SYNDROME?

Parry-Romberg Syndrome, also known as facial hemiatrophy, is a rare condition characterized by slow progressive deterioration of the skin and soft tissue of half of the face (usually the left side).

It is more common in women than in men and affects around 1,000 people around the world.

Initial facial changes often involve the tissues above the upper jaw or those between the nose and the upper corner of the lip.

The changes then go to the corner of the mouth, areas around the eye, forehead, ear and neck.

The eye and cheek of the affected side can be sunk and facial hair can turn white and fall out.

The condition can also be associated with neurological abnormalities, including seizures and severe facial pain.

The disease usually first appears between the ages of five and fifteen.

There is no cure for PRS, although reconstructive and microvascular operations can help with the repair of wasted tissue.

Scientists believe that PRS could be an autoimmune disease, while other research suggests a genetic cause.

Another theory is that trauma involving the first four cervical spinal nerves can trigger the condition.

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