Trip to dentist leads to diagnosis of flesh eating disease
CERI Jones thought it would just be a routine trip to the dentist.
The 21-year-old had a lump in her mouth she thought was an abscess, so went to the dentist for a check up. It was only then the pub chef from Wales was horrified to lean her problem was in fact a serious, very rare, form of flesh-eating cancer.
The dentist did X-rays and told her there was nothing there so sent her to hospital for more tests. She then got the devastating diagnosis.
"It was November last year when I was diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma and was referred to Liverpool Women's Hospital.
"I'd never heard of anything like it, I was so shocked that I actually had it to be honest," The Mirror reported.
Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma affects the salivary glands of the head and neck. She needed 36 hours on the operating table to remove the tumour. But she also lost her left eye.
But that wasn't all.
The cancer was at an advanced stage after it had spread so her upper left jaw and upper left facial bones were also replaced with titanium metal and her face needed to be reconstructed.
She also lost her teeth on the left side as she had to have the muscle and skin on her right thigh grafted into her mouth.
Miss Jones told the Daily Post the horrifying detail of the operation.
"I was under sedation for two weeks while they did it and took skin and muscle from my right thigh to replace the left and side palate in my mouth, and they had to connect major arteries to blood vessels in my neck so the palate would keep alive."
The British health system has paid for her to fly to Florida, in the United States, to undergo specialist radiotherapy for the next few months.
But she has to meet her own costs to cover day-to-day living and other expenses, so her family have launched a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with hopes to raise almost $10,000.
Her mum Sarah Evans said: "I relive this nightmare every day from the day we took Ceri to Liverpool to the day she came home and the morning she went down to theatre for the longest life-changing surgery and the complications she had thereafter."
She said she was proud of the "bravery and strength" her daughter had shown.
"She's an inspiration."