ALMOST GOOD AS NEW
It was every parent’s nightmare. The baby wasn’t perfect. The sore on her nostril was angry red and cancerous, needing to be removed with the new radium treatments which would burn it off. This innovative treatment was in its experimental stage in 1932 and left her with a flattened lobe and a slightly elevated lip .Ridicule wasn’t so bad when she was young but during the cruel years of adolescence, she endured severe acne, legs longer than her girlfriends, as well as a disfigured face. The day she stood in front of the hall mirror and wept was the time my parents decided that the time had come for her to have the plastic surgery needed to correct her facial scar.. She was convinced that the operation would transform her face into one of which she could be proud.
The treatment plan was amazing. A flap one inch wide , the length of her forehead and in the shape of an inverted U with the flap still attached between her eyebrows was created. The length of skin was brought from her eyebrows down to the scar site and grafted in place. This meant that the skin flap lay diagonally across the center of her face and was bandaged. When the transferred tissue graft was successfully alive and growing, it was clipped and a nostril lobe formed. These were the pioneering days of plastic surgery and results were primitive by today’s standards.
The memories of the instruments, the needles, the antiseptic, the bandages ,the sounds and the odors, as well as the unasked questions and averted eyes were life long memories recalled with crystal clarity.
At its best, it was a glowing example of caring parents giving their child the most professional remedy available to correct a problem which was not their fault.