Coventry & Warwickshire

Liese Healing's jaw rebuilt with 'bike chain'

A woman has had part of her jaw rebuilt with a bicycle-style chain after cancer had "eaten away" at her face.

Liese Healing, 49, from Rugby, said doctors told her she could die during the 12-hour operation to have the titanium chain fitted.

The mother-of-two survived ovarian cancer in 2005 but discovered she had cancer again last July.

She has thanked surgeons at Coventry's University Hospital where her jaw was reconstructed.

'So grateful'

She said: "Doctors told me I could die in the operation but I had survived one cancer when my children were little and I wasn't going to let this one beat me.

"At times it was really difficult to keep positive but I wanted to show my kids their mum was going to be ok.

"I am so grateful to all of the hospital staff who have helped me so much."

Consultant neck surgeon Gary Walton and his colleague Raj Sandhu transplanted skin with a vein and artery from Ms Healing's arm to provide her jaw with new tissue a blood supply.

The chain has been fitted around her newly-reconstructed jaw.

Mr Walton said: "We are seeing an increase in the number of patients with jaw cancer because they don't know the symptoms and they think it only affects older people.

"Liese is living proof that anyone can be affected and was very lucky that her dentist referred her to see a specialist when he did."

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