The mother-of-two living in New York, USA had to have two teeth extracted after the dentist discovered they were infected during a routine appointment. But the next morning, she woke up with a large abscess under her chin.
She was admitted to Albany Memorial Hospital and given a two-week course of antibiotics. She couldn’t eat, sleep or do anything.
Doctors diagnosed Meighan with osteomyelitis of the lower jaw. The condition was so severe that doctors removed almost all of her lower jaw and replaced it with a metal rod.
By April 2017, she had all her lower teeth extracted to prevent infection.
But the worst continued when Meighan had to undergo two more surgeries due to complications.
Doctors first attempted to reconstruct her mouth with a hip bone, before successfully replacing part of her shin bone. Meighan also had surgery to reconstruct part of her neck using muscle from her breast.
Meighan lost 77 kg compared to before surgery. She didn’t even recognize herself. “It’s like I went to bed at 32 and woke up looking 70.”she confided.
“I hardly leave my house. If I could avoid looking in the mirror, I would. I used to be a beautiful woman before.”
Meighan was heartbroken when she revealed she had lost half of her chest and had scars on her hips, legs and face. She is also in a state of unemployment, so she has financial difficulties. Frequent hospitalizations and status health has kept her from working since having a root canal in 2017.
Meighan’s 19-year-old daughter Deonna has to stay home to take care of her mother and earn money to support the family instead of going to college.
Meighan’s eating is also difficult. “I can only chew soft foods, I live on eggs, pasta, chicken and burgers”she said.
“I can’t even go outside during the winter months unless absolutely necessary. The cold weather hardens my jaw, which is probably the worst pain.”
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