Mar.17, 2014

Ayan Oma Muhumed was just two-years-old when a bullet ripped through her cheekbone during the war between Somalia and Somaliland. Not only has this changed forever the way the world looks at her – but it also makes it impossible for her to eat, drink or close her eyes properly. Much of life is a misery.

Doctors at a refugee camp saved her life, but she spent the next 23 years hiding her injuries under a niqab, as she was too afraid to expose her face.

In 2009, Edna Adan Ismail, Somaliland's former first lady and former government minister and the founder of the only maternity hospital in Somaliland, appealed for medical assistance in the form of facial reconstruction in order to help Ayan heal the scars of war and regain her life. Five years later, Ayan was given hope when a team of medical specialists in Australia, led by Wesley Hospital oral and maxillofacial surgeon John Arvier, offered her help.

Ayan undergoes surgery last month at The Wesley Hospital in Brisbane. The surgery began at 7.30am and concluded at approximately 6.30pm.

A team of approximately 20, comprising surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and other staff, volunteered their time and services pro bono for the surgery.

They used 3D printed implants to rebuild her eye socket, cheek and the missing portion of the top jaw, taking skin from under her neck to graft over the implants and cartilage from her left ear to rebuild her nostrils. They also did extensive dental work to reshape her smile.

The custom made medical implant was built by Oxford Performance Materials, OPM, using their patented OsteoFab, an advanced PEKK polymer and 3D printing technology and donated by the Foundation for Orthopedic Reconstruction, FOR.

Dr John Arvier and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr David Chin said the surgery went exactly as planned. When Ayan woke, one of the first things she did was refuse her niqab.

Edna Adan Ismail accompanied Ayan to Brisbane for surgery

Pat DeFelice, executive director of FOR said, "It is a difficult undertaking to reach out to all surgeons and organizations dedicated to not only medically helping victims, whether violence, illness or trauma but to also improve the quality of life for each and every affected human. It is our hope that the smile on Ayan's face will encourage more to come forward."

Ayan will continue to be monitored as an outpatient. She now walks with confidence and looks you straight in the eye. She is a new person and has been given a new life. "Now I want to go back to school and I want to be a doctor." said Ayan.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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alvaro wrote at 3/17/2014 7:36:15 PM:

Amazing! the the skill of surgeons combined with 3D printers technology brought her life back.

alvaro wrote at 3/17/2014 7:35:06 PM:

Amazing! the the skill of surgeons combined with 3D printers technology brought her life back.

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