Inspiration

Woman Bullied Because She Looks "Like Squirrel" Had Surgery Worth $200k

After enduring bullying for resembling a "squirrel," a woman underwent surgery costing $200,000 to replace her jaw with fat from her stomach. She now states that she feels "beautiful."

At the age of two, Izzy Sehon's mother, Cherise Gerrard, who is 60 years old, observed that her jaw was not very defined and appeared "different".

When she turned eight, her problems escalated, and she experienced severe jaw and joint pain, as well as difficulties with eating, breathing, and sleeping.

Izzy said:

"I haven't been able to crunch or bite down with my top teeth since I was aged 10. I haven't been able to bite an apple since I was eight. I struggled to crunch and chew a chocolate bar."

She added:

"I didn't understand why people didn't want to be my friend or guys wouldn't want to date me. They would compare my side profile to a squirrel and call me 'no chin'. My family always told me I was beautiful."

She visited numerous orthodontists and has had braces on approximately six occasions throughout her life.

It was not until June 2020 that a doctor eventually diagnosed her with idiopathic condylar resorption (ICR), a rare condition that results in the deterioration of the bones in the jaw.

Izzy was informed that her face resembled that of someone who had been disfigured in war since her temporomandibular joint (TMJ) - the joint connecting the jaw to the skull - was "non-existent."

In February 2023, she underwent bilateral total jaw joint replacement surgery that necessitated four incisions on her jaw, extraction of her original jaw, and the installation of bespoke prosthetics.

Throughout the 12-and-a-half-hour procedure, Izzy received fat grafts from her abdomen to her face to provide padding around her new TMJ joint. She financed the surgery, which cost $200,000 (£160k), with her insurance.

Izzy is now feeling content with the appearance of her new face and is fantasizing about biting into a caramel apple for the first time in 14 years.

She said: "I was terrified to look at myself at first. I didn't look for five days and made my dad, John Sehon, put sheets and towels over the mirrors in the hospital."

After suffering an allergic reaction to her medication, Izzy remained hospitalized for five days before she was permitted to return home.

Following the surgery, she was unable to speak for a week and had limited jaw mobility, but she has been diligently performing daily jaw exercises.

She said: "I couldn't speak at all. I was non-verbal for seven days. I then started mumbling. My voice changed a lot – it's more high-pitched."

"I started breaking down when I first saw myself. I thought 'That wasn't me'. Now I'm feeling happy with how it's starting to look. It's life changing."

"A lot of guys have come in my DMs post-surgery. And people now saying we should go out. But where were you before? 'I know who my friends are.'"