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Teenage Girl Will Get the Sense of Smell After Nose Construction Surgeries

Update Date: Mar 06, 2013 03:30 PM EST

Cassidy Hooper, a 16-year-old girl shows the world that she will not be defined by her disabilities. Hooper, from North Carolina, was born with a rare condition that left her without eyes and a nose. Doctors were baffled but relieved that the severity of her physical impairments did not impair her brain functions.  She was also born completely healthy.  After years of waiting, Hooper will finally get a nose as she and her doctors prepare for a series of constructive surgeries.

Hooper who has had skin graft surgeries to shift the tissues on her face since she was 11-years-old is finally ready for the procedures that will change her life forever.  Hooper will have three surgeries over the span of two weeks at the Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, NC. The surgeries will take cartilage and bone from her skull to create a functional nose that will give Hooper her sense of smell. The doctors have taken the layered approach by fixing the tissue membrane of the nose area first, followed by implanting the bone structure, and finishing by adding a layer of skin.

The surgeries will be performed by her doctor, Dr. David Matthews who has been working with Hooper for the past five years. Dr. Matthews has been slowly expanding the opening on Hooper's face so that a nose could properly be placed. He was also involved with Hooper's skin graft surgeries, which were necessary for the construction of a real nose over the years.

The results from the surgeries will hopefully make Hooper's life easier. Hooper states that the difficult parts of being born with physical impairments are the taunts and teasing from other kids. However, Hooper has not let the bullies define her life.

Despite living with these physical impairments in the spots that are supposed to be her eyes and nose, Hooper has a great spirit. She currently goes to the Governor Morehead School, a specialized school for people who are blind and/or deaf. Hooper is able to travel from the school to a shelter where she sings for the homeless, proving to the world that she can be an independent person regardless of her conditions.

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