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Patient Profile: Tanya's Story

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

Anaplastology Awareness Month 2020


Nearly nineteen years ago Tanya’s life changed forever. The survivor of prolonged domestic abuse, Tanya was shot at point blank range by her abuser. She survived. She freed herself from the abuse and has been advocating for those suffering from domestic violence since. 


Fourteen years after her injury, and many reconstructive surgeries later, Tanya was connected with Janet Chao, an ocularist and anaplastologist now working in Las Vegas, NV. Tanya and Janet spent nearly four months together, working on an extensive upper facial prosthesis including the left eye, cheek, brow, and parts of the nose and forehead. 


Designing a facial prosthesis is a collaborative process between the anaplastologist and the patient in order to create a form that not only recreates the missing anatomy, but also represents the individual’s personality and expression. Janet describes spending hours finalizing the design of Tanya’s prosthesis and working through several revisions before the final design was fabricated. Janet also shares that throughout the process she got to know Tanya and was inspired by her. 


Tanya represents a spirit shared among many anaplastology patients: despite having experienced extreme trauma and years of exhausting medical recovery, she remains positive and hopeful about her future.


I was beyond excited to start the process for the making of my prosthesis. I knew that Janet was going to give it her all. I was really nervous because I have been wearing the patch for 15 years and was comfortable to an extent with how I looked. I wasn't sure how or if I would be comfortable with the new me. I'm happy to say I'm beyond happy. With it I feel whole again. -Tanya 



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