Tim McGrath: Man Who Lost Half Of His Face To Cancer Has It Rebuilt

Man Who Lost Half Of His Face To Cancer

Man Who Lost Half Of His Face To Cancer: Tim McGrath Has Successfully Had His Face Rebuilt After Suffering From Synovial Sarcoma

Remember Tim McGrath, 38, from Michigan, USA, the man who lost half of his face to cancer? Well, he has successfully had his face rebuilt by a genius, Dr Kongkrit Chaiyasate, who heard of Tim’s Synovial Sarcoma battle and decided to help him. It’s understood he used skin from Tim’s leg and forearm to successfully reconstruct the 38-year-old’s face. He was first diagnosed with cancer in February 2014 after complaining of severe jaw pain. An MRI revealed an egg sized tumour however Tim turned down surgery and spent the following 18 months seeking none surgical alternatives.

Man Who Lost Half Of His Face To Cancer (1)
Man Who Lost Half Of His Face To Cancer: Tim McGrath before the cancer

Read what Tim McGrath has to say regarding his plight below.

‘After the operation to remove the tumour I was heartbroken, I didn’t realise that half of my face would be taken away and it wasn’t until I went to Dr Chaiyasate that I start to feel real hope again.

‘I was covered in scars from previous surgeries which limited my options for reconstruction but we went ahead and the outcome has been incredible.

‘He reconstructed my face using skin and muscle from my left leg, left forearm, and a flap from my forehead, and skin graphs were used to help the healing process.

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‘I currently can’t drink liquid, eat through my mouth, or pronounce certain words, however my quality of life has improved massively.

‘There are people who stare at me, mostly children who don’t understand, but I would hope that others look past what they can see.

Man Who Lost Half Of His Face To Cancer (2)

‘My journey has been long and mostly inconceivable to most, but I have an amazing support group around me and I draw strength from them daily.

‘I have been through something horrific, but if what I’ve gone through can inspire people to live their lives with gratitude for the things they take for granted than it makes what I’ve gone through all worth it.’

‘At the end of May 2015 the tumour doubled in size and I had to have a tracheotomy fitted to enable me to breathe and a feeding tube so I could eat, because the tumour had invaded the space in my mouth.

‘Heavy doses of radiation caused the tumour to start dying and shrink and parts started to fall off, eventually I got my mouth back and I could eat very thin pieces of food.

Man Who Lost Half Of His Face To Cancer (3)

‘After the tumour shrank and the radiation treatment was over I had to wait a few weeks before they could remove the remaining mass.”

Tim McGrath was admitted to hospital in October 2015. He spent almost seven weeks following the initial 30 hour operation to remove and then reconstruct his face.

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‘Before the surgery they gave me the worst case scenario, they said I would have to lose my left eye and my left ear, but I didn’t’ believe that was going to be necessary.

‘When I woke up I was in complete shock, as well as removing part of my face and bone structure, they had removed most of the muscle in my back, they had taken a rib, and they took part of my scapula and part of my shoulder too.

‘This was so that they could rebuild my bone structure and the surrounding area however my body rejected the first attempts.

‘Eventually I was discharged and the cavity was closed but over time the transplant kept shrinking and I experienced numerous infections.

‘There were so many times when I wanted to give up and at times it was difficult to find the strength to carry on.’

While showing appreciation for what Dr Chaiyasate had done for him, the man who lost half of his face to cancer said:

‘I am fortunate enough that he practices within 12 miles of my parents’ house.

‘Dr C is a humanitarian, who dedicates his life towards giving and helping others, he is humble and has an amazing sense of humour, I consider him a great friend.

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‘He has given me so much hope. I’ve had over 20 surgeries to date and five of those have been with Dr C, none of which have been rejected.

‘Dr C now wants me to have a year off to relax and gain my strength back, let the swelling go down and just have fun in life.

Man Who Lost Half Of His Face To Cancer (5)
Tim McGrath with top surgeon Dr Kongkrit Chaiyasate

‘I am definitely taking advantage of every opportunity I have to live.’

It’s gathered that Dr Chaiyasate will continue with the reconstruction of Tim’s face next winter which will further help his speech, give him the ability to eat and drink again.

‘My family and friends have been amazing and their fundraisers have helped me afford and endure the $40-50k that has had to come out of pocket.

‘I have been incredibly lucky to have insurance, the first eight weeks in hospital rang up a bill of $1.2 million alone.

‘I have now found the confidence to share my story and if my journey can lead to a happy life for others around me then I truly understand why I was chosen to walk this path.’

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Man Who Lost Half Of His Face To Cancer — See The Progress On Tim McGrath After Battling Synovial Sarcoma

  • Sharon Daddario

    Why is the tumor on different sides of his face in the first two pics?

  • SantaFeJack

    Tim’s story moved this 72 year old to tears, not only for the unbelievable suffering he has endured, but his courage and attitude are simply superhuman. To have been as handsome and physically outstanding as he was, and then at only 35 years old to undergo this transformation? When people talk about having a strong “lifeforce”, Tim McGrath must have just about the most extraordinary lifeforce any human could hope to posses. I sincerely hope he one day has a wife and children; they would be so blessed to have a husband and father like this!


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