A woman who was born without a nose and who had a hole in her skull has undergone a successful reconstructive surgery with doctors using her own ribs in the process.
Ran Miller as a two-year-old child
Ran Miller, a young woman who was born with a hole in her skull and no nose underwent 20 operations, leaving surgeons to construct her using one of her ribs.
According to Mirror Online, Ran was born with a facial birth defect called frontal nasal dysplacia sequence which if left untreated could have killed her. She underwent her first operation at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, USA when she was four months old.
Before she turned 16, Ran – now 26 – had undergone 20 operations and spent around 50 hours in theatre. The hole had been closed but she had been left with a ridge-like cleft down the front of her face.
The aspiring photojournalist loves posting selfies of her make-up free face, despite being embarrassed about her face when she was younger. She is also keen to track down other people with the same ailment as her – she calls them ‘Clefties’.
“I don’t look like what people consider normal – I have a sharp ridge down the front of my face,” said Ran, of Kentucky, USA. “But I appreciate my appearance everyday and don’t care what people think.
“I am not a freak to be stared at. I’m fabulous. My scars are an indication of how great I look, what I’ve been through and how far I’ve come.”
Born in December 1989 at St Agnes Hospital, in Towson, Maryland, Ran’s mum’s pregnancy was normal and she did not know Ran’s skull was not developing properly in the womb.
It was only post-birth medics realised there was a hole, her eyes were unusually far apart and she had no nose. Over the next 16 years the whole was filled with a mental plate and her ribs partially removed to construct a nose.
Ran Miller as an adult
As a youngster and teen she was embarrassed and shy. But now she posts snaps of herself online to deter bullies from picking on others like her.
She said: “I was really self-conscious of my face when I was younger. When I was born, the way my skull had formed meant my eyes were wide apart.
“I felt like I was on display and in the spotlight and I just wanted to get on with my life. Then I started putting my photo online to say to people, don’t flip out.
“I made a point of saying, ‘Don’t judge people like me. We’re not freak shows’. We have the right to live our lives and not be stared at.
“The most recent photo I put up was taken in natural light with no filter or make-up on so you can see the ridge clearly, you can see something’s going on there.
“But if people stare at me I explain to them about my face. I’m not bothered. I don’t feel anxious anymore. My friends call me inspiring and I’m proud of who I am.
“I want to help others like me and I’m trying to find them. I’ve not found anyone like me yet, though. I call people like me Clefties, but I don’t think many want their voice heard. I think they’re scared people will make fun of them.
“One woman I spoke to online, whose kid had a facial defect like mine, said it wasn’t what she bargained for.”