One day, as mother of seven Angie Twiggs of Fort Stewart, Georgia was combing her hair, she discovered a small nodule behind her right ear. It wasn’t painful, but was about the size of an almond. Concerned, she went to several doctors, but all told her that the node was benign and no cause for concern. However, the protrusion continued to grow dramatically and it began to affect Angie’s life. She was embarrassed to leave the house and hid the growing bump under her long hair. Before long, Angie had a tumor on her face as big as an orange.
No doctor wanted to remove the growth; she was told it was too risky. An operation could easily damage her facial nerves which could possibly leave her face permanently paralyzed. The disfiguration cast a dark cloud over her. Angie fell into a profound depression, not wanting to see anyone apart from her family. “I always keep my head down… I don’t want people looking at me,” she said.
When her affliction became unbearable, Angie turned to the television show “The Doctors,” which helps people with medical problems who can’t afford expensive operations. The producers of the show make arrangements for a charitable organization to pay for the treatment costs. In Angie’s case, specialists Dr. Ryan Osborne and Dr. Jason Hamilton at Osborne Head and Neck Institute in Los Angeles agreed to help.
They took on the risk that other doctors avoided: to remove the enormous tumor from the side of Angie’s face and restore her normal appearance. Despite the high risk, Angie’s decision was firm—she wanted the operation. In an over six-hour procedure, doctors detached the deformed tissue and reconstructed Angie’s face.
Angie has not only been transformed on the outside. She smiles again, and there’s a sparkle in her eyes. She can finally go out again without being afraid of being stared or laughed at.
It turned out to be incredibly important that the tumor was removed, because after it was extracted, tests proved that it was malignant. At the moment, Angie is still in treatment but full of hope.
Here’s hoping Angie has a full recovery and many more happy years with her loved ones!