Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read my story and by just reading it will hopefully provide some inspiration to yourself to never give up when times are hard.
In 2005 i was a nineteen year old student at Reigate college in Surrey with hopes of going to university like many young students. However in April that year i was struck by a cricket ball that hit me directly on the nose at a very fast speed and was immediatly taken to hospital with severe fractures and a deviated septum. A surgery was arranged within weeks at my local hospital in Sutton to fix the septum and breathing issues.
Sadly for me that operation was a disaster and the surgeon proceeded to complety collapse the entire septum and destroy the majortiy of my nose internally, leaving me with terrible life changing symptoms. He spoke to my Dad afterwards saying "we did what we could"...with myself in recovery unknowningly what really happened. After two weeks of recovery i quickly realised my nose looked even worse than before and internally had major breathing and loud whisteling problems. My nose was completly blocked and i found it impossible to sleep, breathe or function normally during the day. I then realised very quickly that something was majorily wrong.
My Dad and myself quickly sort out private surgeons opinions in the area to find an explination. Our worse fears were soon realised when surgeons confirmed the news that the surgery had gone horribly wrong, so much so that when we asked "is there anything you can do to repair the damage"?, we were turned away by no less than five professional surgeons in the greater London area, who all said the internal damage is so severe that they could not operate on me. We finally found one who pointed me in the direction of well known ENT london suregon Dr Charles East.
At this time i still had hoped to go to university and to live a normal life but i would still be trying to correct this error almost 10 years later. Dr Charles East confirmed what the other surgeons had said to me and explained to me and my dad in his Harley street surgery that it would take two operations to correct the damage. I broke down in tears in our first consultation with myself realising the extent of what had happened. My Dad also said to me we cant afford the £9,550 costs to go private so i was forced to go on the NHS route and wait for 8 months.
As this was going on, i seeked compensation for what had happened but was unable to prove neglegence against my original surgeon, even though my lawyers said i had a very good chance of winning, sadly the NHS protected him at all costs and just said i was "unfortunate". I even mentioned that the money would go towards surgery to repair the damage done. I still remember the pain i felt when i heard and saw the verdict.
The two surgeries with Dr Charles East happened in 2007 and 2008, after waiting over a year in between for recovery, during the time of surgery i was unable to work or even think about higher education. My breathing got so bad that i started to faint due to a lack of oxygen on a number of ocassions. My nose was constantly blocked every day, every month for 3 years. I found it impossible to sleep and believe me i tried everything, every trick in the book that i researched and every expert opinion that suggested i try something. Sadly, nothing worked, and i only slept when i suffered exhaustion and even then i didnt sleep longer than 5 hours because my mouth got so dry as i couldnt breathe through my nose. I tried to hold down a job as a assistant groundsman and Fuham Football Club but i had to quit because i simply wasnt sleeping and collapsed on two occassions due to exaustion and a lack of oxygen in my body.
I also started noticing the amount of money i was spending over the years on medication and private consultations and due to my mum and dad unable to help me out financially, my savings account which my mum and dad put in for me when i was younger had almost been emptied by 2008. I did have £6,500 saved. I was paying for £350 for private consultations, constant medication. It might be difficult for people to understandbut if your breathing and the function of your nose deteriates to such an extent you will do anything to correct it.
I thought the dissapointments would hopefuly be over, but again the two surgeries with Dr Charles East didnt improve the situation, my nose looked a little less broken but the functioning problems still exhisited, still preventing me after now 3 years of having a normal life by 2008.
During this time, Dr Charles East said there was nothing more he could do and this was the time i began to get incredibly depressed and unhappy. I spent many days crying and being angry. I couldnt do anything, i couldnt hold down a job and i was more than prepared to work and i couldnt even go outside when it was warm because i simply could breathe and my nose would swell up hugely. To put it simply i felt my life had been taken away from me.
In desperation i found a online forum called lookyourbest.com, which had a community for nasal problems and general information which proved to be therapy for me more than anything as i could talk about issues with people that understood for the first time. I also joined the forum community to try and seek advice or information regarding my issues. I came to realise after the months went on after the last surgery with Dr East that i couldnt face the rest of my life with my current situation. I refused to accept it and started asking about worldwide surgeons who could potentially help my problem. I across some patients who had surgery with Dr Ronald Gruber in the united States and the results were very positive. I was quoted just over £9,000 for the surgery and another £2000 for the trip. I didnt have the funds avalaible, so i started to work for an entire year as a night shift worker packing parcels for royal mail locally until i could afford the surgery, i found it easier to work at night and although it was still difficult and i came close many times to quiting due to my health and lack of sleep i forced myself to keep going until i reached my financial goal.
In 2010 i had my first surgery with Dr Ronald Gruber, traveling to San Fransisco, Califiornia and then to Oakland. I went by myself and looked after myself for 5 days before returning home from surgery, my nose looked alot better aftwrwards, it looked like a broken boxers nose for years so i am glad it looked better but the breathing problems still persisted. So i went and saved up for another surgery with him the next year to focus on my breathing, he changed alot of things in my noseand the breathing did get alot better after the second surgery.
However, i started to develop internal pains inside my nose when inhaling oxygen and i found out i needed to have something fixed but due to the amount of surgery i have had on my nose i can only have surgery by Dr Gruber and not anyone in the UK. The blockage of my nose is completly gone, but i have developed new problems over the last year of intense pain and incredibly dry throats, the pain does not allow me to sleep and after trying every medication avalaible to me i lost my job at the beginning of July this year due to exhaustion, i ended up in hospital on the 3rd August and was kept in hospital for several days due to becoming so weak. I have seen several consultants and there is no cure bar surgery to improve the situation.
I have spoken to Dr Gruber through out this year and he said the issue can be fixed and i wouldnt be charged for the surgery due to paying for previous surgery and he said it seems to be a complication from the last surgery i had with him.
The bill for the trip to see him and get it fixed is £2500 - that includes return flights, taxis, food, medication costs and 6 day stay at a hotel for recovery.
Flights return - £680 - Heathrow - San Fransisco
Taxi Costs - san fransisco to oakland plus to and from surgery - £200
6 day hotel apartment - apartment needed to cook and look after myself - going by myself. - £800
Medication costs - £400
Carer Cost - £350
Food - £50
I am going to be 28 years old on christmas eve and it will mark a 10 year ongoing battle. It has cost me so much over the years, but i truly believe in getting up and fighting battles and never giving up if there is hope. I have spent a staggering £31,258 on surgery, medication, endless consultants, flights, hotels and everything else. I have never spent anything on myself, never had a chance too.
I am pouring out my heart here hopinga few special, extremly kind inidividuals will take pitty on someone who is desperate to win his fight, if i acheive my goal i will stay in touch with all the donators and i will do a story and picture video of my trip out there which i will post on youtube for you all to see.
I have also put up a video link with my story and where i am today. I am very hopeful that this surgery will be the end of a long ordeal and that i can finally have some sort of life for myself.
If anyone has any comments they can contact me at:
Thank you so much for reading.