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Teenager Who Looked Like A 'Grandmother' Given 'New Face'

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Teenager Who Looked Like A 'Grandmother' Given 'New Face'

A teenage girl who had the 'face of a 60-year-old' has undergone life-changing surgery to give her a more youthful look.

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Xiao Feng, 15, from Liaoning's Heishan County, China, suffers from Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome, one of the symptoms of which is premature aging.

For the moment, there is no known cure, and prior to the operation she had been forced to quit school after being bullied.

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Describing herself as looking like a 'grandmother', she wrote to Chinese philanthropist Guo Mingyi, 61, asking for help. After a few weeks of negotiating, Sunline Plastic Surgery Hospital announced it would carry out the surgery and waived 70 percent of her 500,000 RMB (£55,560) bill, while Guo paid the remaining 30 percent.

And it has proven to be a success, with the hospital in Shenyang unveiling the teen's new face in front of a stunned crowd yesterday (20 January).

Xiao after the operation. Credit: Asia Wire
Xiao after the operation. Credit: Asia Wire

Over the course of the three-part operation, the team of medics removed Xiao's wrinkles before reconstructing her nose and lips.

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Before carrying out the procedure, hospital director Shi Lingzhi said: "We've done many regular wrinkle treatment surgeries, and most of the steps she will go through are the same.

"But the major difference is in her skin, which is very loose and lacks elasticity.

"We will need to transplant skin from other parts of her body to her face, such as from the outside of her thigh."

And just three weeks after leaving the operating room, Xiao stood on stage alongside her parents as her brand new face was unveiled.

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The teenager admitted she was very 'nervous' beforehand, fearing that it would hurt.

Speaking to local media, she said: "Thank you to everyone who helped me. Thank you, Mr Guo, and all the hospital staff for giving me a new future.

She underwent a three-part operation to give her a new face. Credit: Asia Wire
She underwent a three-part operation to give her a new face. Credit: Asia Wire

"If angels really do exist, they are the nurses at Sunline hospital; if there really are Buddhas, they would look like Director Shi and the experts who have gifted me a new life."

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Her mother also suffers from the same condition and the hospital has agreed to wave some of her medical bills so she too can have a new face.

She said: "This sort of psychological stress is impossible for ordinary people to understand. I also dreamt of being pretty one day, but I couldn't make it come true.

"Now that my daughter has been given this chance, she's helping me live my dream, and is also fulfilling her own dream."

Director Shi said Xiao will now have follow-up treatments to further refine Xiao's new face.

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The teen says her immediate goal is to return to school in the hope of one day becoming a doctor or nurse. Liaoning Vocational College of Medicine has said it would be supporting Xiao's education, offering her a place in one of its medical programmes.

Featured Image Credit: Asia Wire

Topics: Science, Interesting, Weird, China, Health

Dominic Smithers
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