Ayan Mohamed was two years old when her face was shattered by shrapnel during the Somali Civil War.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Surgery to reconstruct a Somali war victim's face has gone well and doctors expect her to remain in a Queensland hospital for another week.
Ayaan Mohamed's face was disfigured when she was shot as an infant in Somalia's brutal civil war.
Years after the horrific injury, she was granted a chance to have 'a face like everyone else' when the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane offered to rebuild her face.
The 25-year-old flew to the Sunshine State capital earlier this month, with the help of two local Rotary clubs, which helped fund-raise and secure her visa.
Ms Mohamed underwent the long-awaited facial reconstruction surgery on Saturday.
The procedure went for 11 hours and required a team of 20, including surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses.
Wesley Hospital surgeon Dr John Arvier and Dr David Chin said the surgery went exactly as planned.
The two doctors said in a statement late on Saturday they were grateful for the messages of support from Australians and those in Somaliland.
'Ms Mohamed is expected to be in the Wesley Hospital for about a week and then will continue to be monitored as an outpatient,' the statement read.
Wesley Hospital is part of Uniting Care Health, which is covering the hospital costs.
This week Dr Arvier told reporters the operation would require tissue from the side of her face, skin from her forearm and a synthetic implant to cover a hole between her eye socket and jaw.
Former Somaliland first lady Edna Adan Ismail said Ms Mohamed was looking forward to having a face like everyone else.
Ms Mohamed was initially denied a medical visa last year but, following a petition from 40,000 people, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison approved a second visa.