The woman learns again how to walk after surgeons have used her HIP bone to rebuild her tumor-destroyed jaw
Samantha Levy, 30, from Wandsworth, had rebuilt her jaw with part of her hip bone after an aggressive tumor had destroyed it, making her unable to walk
A woman whose jaw was destroyed by an aggressive tumor and rebuilt with part of her hip bone can finally walk again.
Samantha Levy, 30, from Wandsworth, was at a routine dentist appointment in October 2017 when a mass was seen on X-rays.
Mrs. Levy, who works in digital advertising, had no idea her jaw was rotting away until the benign tumor was discovered by accident.
Surgeons confirmed Mrs. Levy & jaw in a series of debilitating operations, including an 11-hour procedure that left a gaping hole in her hip bone.
She was left wheelchair-bound for five weeks and slowly regained her ability to walk.
Now, Levy – who has recovered from her life-changing operation – is pulling off the Great Wall of China to thank her surgeons.
She said: & # 39; I am quite proud of myself that I went from wheelchair to a zimmer frame to crutches and insisted that I walk out of the hospital without help. & # 39;
In October 2017, Levy's dentist saw a mass that had not yet been there during a check-up that had been performed a year earlier. She was referred to visit her doctor.
Mrs. Levy had a biopsy, which showed that she had a rare tumor called an odogenic myxoma.
Mrs. Levy needed part of her jawbone and removed a total of six teeth. She had applied a thread in February 2018 to hold the rest of her jaw together
Surgeons worked on Levy's jaw in a series of operations, including one that reconstructed her gums with abs. She is pictured in the hospital
The diagnosis was a shock because Mrs. Levy had no symptoms, even though the tumor ate slowly through the jaw on her left.
Doctors warned that if the tumor was no longer diagnosed, it could have dropped her face on one side.
Mrs. Levy said: & I felt really terrified and then decided to learn as much as possible about it.
& # 39; I realized at that time that there is no literature, nothing for such a rare tumor.
& # 39; I always say, we get a sense of humor so you can laugh your way through things. I laughed quite a bit through it. & # 39;
Mrs. Levy underwent major surgery on 5 February 2018 to remove the damaged jaw bone and five teeth. A thread held the rest of her jaw together.
Mrs. Levy was so worried about her eleven-hour operation that she stopped sleeping and eating. She is pictured with her consultant surgeon Luke Cascarini
She said: & # 39; With the wires on your jaw it's really hard. You have to write things down, it's really hard to speak and you can't brush your teeth.
& # 39; I remember being very anxious about my first operation because I was told that I would not be able to talk when I woke up. & # 39;
Mrs. Levy added: & # 39; That was a real brain teaser for me because I talk a lot. That was quite a challenge. & # 39;
Levy underwent a second operation on 8 March to have her threads removed.
WHAT IS AN ODONTOGENIC MYXOMA?
Odontogenic myxoma is a rare tissue growth that is benign but aggressive to the mouth area.
An odentogenic tumor is commonly known as a tumor in the jaw.
Odontogenic myxomas represent about three percent of all odontogenic tumors – the prevalence of which is unclear.
A myxoma is a tumor of primitive connective tissue, which usually occurs in the heart.
It rarely appears in a bone other than the jaw bone and does not spread.
It tends to grow slowly and painlessly, but can cause ulcers, a tingling sensation and movement of teeth. The tumor normally presents itself as a swelling in the jaw.
Cases are generally reported in people aged ten to 40 years.
The treatment may include surgery and radiotherapy.
But surgeons discovered that they had to operate again to remove more from the jaw and another tooth.
In June, Levy got what she & # 39; my huge operation & # 39; , which lasted eleven and a half hours.
Mrs. Levy said: & # 39; About ten days earlier, my parents and I sat down with the surgeons. They explained everything that was going to happen.
& # 39; We had to have a number of models made of both my hip and jaw so that they could plan the operation. & # 39;
During the marathon procedure, bone was cut from her hip and used to rebuild her jaw along with a piece of metal.
Mrs. Levy, who no longer remembers what happened in the six days after the operation, also took muscles from her stomach to replace part of the gums.
She said she was terrified because of the duration of the operation and added that she had trouble sleeping and lost her appetite in the run-up to the procedure.
& # 39; It's huge and I knew that when I came out, I would look very different, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; I have seen pictures of how I looked, but I am very grateful that I do not remember. & # 39;
After the operation, Mrs. Levy needed physical therapy every day for four weeks to get her back on her feet and walk with the help of a zimmer frame.
She was initially warned that it can take at least a year to use a walking stick to rebuild her strength.
Levy & # 39; s last operation in May 2019 was to remove the metal plate that held her face along the jaw line.
She said: & # 39; I have it at home in a jar. It is like a badge of honor. & # 39;
Mrs. Levy draws on the Chinese wall to raise money and thank her surgeons
Consultant surgeon Luke Cascarini said: “We are incredibly grateful that Ms. Levy would like to support Guy & # 39; s and St. Thomas in this way & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Her positive attitude shone through everything she went through, so I know that the trek will be a new challenge that she is determined to overcome.
& # 39; It is certainly a way for Sam to test her new jaw and hip. & # 39;
Mrs. Levy raises money for Guy's and St. Thomas by walking seven days a day for seven to eight hours a day in China for seven days.
She said: & # 39;This is something I always wanted to do, but I actually decided to do it when I was in the hospital after my massive surgery.
& # 39; Before I had the courage or reason to do it. II'm so excited. I have really had a new life since I was sick.
& # 39; I was not particularly fit or active before, but this really gave me the opportunity to take care of myself and I have always been that way.
& # 39; Many people say that when you start your life again, it is usually when you are much older and you have already lived a life.
& # 39; I am blessed to take this opportunity and start a new life for myself in the thirties. & # 39;
To donate to Mrs. Levy & # 39; s fundraising visit here.
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