Facing Futures - Sila's Story

Sila Mteme, a bright seven-year-old boy from Kenya’s Kamba tribe, was born with a horrible facial disfigurement called frontal nasal encephalocele. Simply put, Sila was born without the front portion of his skull. As a result, his brain had little or no protection and was covered only by a thin layer of skin on his forehead. As his brain grew, it pushed down through the front of his face, forcing his eyes apart. Perhaps the most noticeable deformity on Sila’s face was the absence of his nose. Because his brain was literally bulging out of his forehead, his nose never properly developed.

The Facing Futures Foundation became aware of Sila’s case and agreed to pay for all travel and medical costs associated with correcting his severe facial disorder. After discussing the case, the surgical team estimated that Sila’s surgery would take 14 – 20 hours of continuous operating. His recovery period would last up to three months. It was decided that the operating team would be made up of ten specialists in the areas of pediatric maxillofacial surgery, plastic surgery, ocular plastic surgery, ENT/otolaryngology and neurology.

Ten specialists worked for 20 hours to complete Sila’s skull and rebuild his face. During his visit this engaging seven-year-old forever changed the lives of everyone he met. Now all the beauty that always shone from within is matched by face that truly reflects what lies beneath.

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