WARNING: Graphic content
A man from Michigan, Tim McGrath, 38, used to be a prime specimen of a man, almost every boy’s dream of how they want to look when they grow up.
With a face and body that would make any male envious and melt any lady’s heart.
Even his smile was pearly white!
One unfortunate day in 2014, cancer decided to strike the handsome lad. Tim felt a terrible pain in his jaw, but he thought he could bear it for a while. Eventually, the severe agony forced him to seek medical intervention.
Devastating news was presented to Tim, the pain stemmed from a growing tumor diagnosed to be a Synovial Sarcoma. A rare and aggressive form of cancer, the National Institute of Health says this form of cancer shows no signs or symptoms initially, but in time, it rapidly forms and expands, damaging the different body systems surrounding it.
Tim researched nonsurgical alternatives but after the tumor grew to the size of a softball and rendered Tim unrecognizable and unable to function, he had to have it removed.
The tumor was so bad that it took over his face and preventing Tim from eating.
Tim’s procedure took 30 hours and he spent nearly two months in the hospital recovering from the surgery. The once handsome lad was heartbroken when he saw what was left of his face.
That’s not the end of Tim’s unfortunate encounter, the tragedy struck once again when doctors tried to reconstruct his face. Tim’s beleaguered body rejected this form of medical intervention as his face turns red, raw and horribly exposed.
Time had to live for over a year with half a face and gaping flesh, he was in agony.
“Eventually I was discharged and the cavity was closed but over time the transplant kept shrinking and I experienced numerous infections. There were so many time when I wanted to give up and at times it was difficult to find the strength to carry on.”
Tim met with Michigan plastic surgeon, Dr. Kongkrit Chaiyasate after suffering numerous complications.
Dr. Chaiyasate decided to try something new for Tim’s case by using a pioneering surgery which involved using skin from Tim’s forearm and leg to rebuild his face.
Thankfully, Tim’s body responded well to this type of treatment, and he is grateful for the positive results under Dr. Chaiyasate’s care.
“He has given me so much hope. I’ve had over 20 surgeries to date and five of those have been with Dr. C, none of which have been rejected.”
Tim is optimistic about his new lease on life despite losing his good looks to cancer and subsequent infections. He is set to have more reconstruction work on his face in 2018.
He started up a website chronicling his journey through all the privilege, pain, blessing and opportunity to inspire many other people, what’s best is that he is raising money to help many others like him.
“My journey has been long and mostly inconceivable to most, but I have an amazing support group around me and I draw strength from them daily. I have been through something horrific, but if what I’ve gone through can inspire people to live their lives with gratitude for the things they take for granted then it makes what I’ve gone through all worth it.”
We pray for Tim’s speedy recovery once he goes through the reconstructive surgery, and we certainly need more people with positivity like him in the world. We thank you for sharing your journey with us, teaching us to never take out looks for granted.