Eric Moger received devastating news four years ago. Instead of making wedding plans, the new fiancé was informed by doctors that they discovered an aggressive tumour the size of a tennis ball growing beneath the skin of his face.
Rather than planning his wedding, Moger was forced into emergency surgery to remove the cancer, which removed almost the entire left side of his face. Where his eye, cheek bone and most of his jaw once were was now just a gaping hole.
The tennis-ball-sized tumor took its toll on Moger’s appearance. People stared and recoiled at his disfigurement.
But not anymore.
Surgeons have used 3D printers to create an innovative prosthetic face for Mr. Moger.
His skull and face was scanned and, using computer aided design (CAD) software, his face was reverse engineered to create a custom recreation of his face.
The prosthetic has transformed Mr. Moger’s life more than just visually. He is now able to drink his first glass of water and taste food. Until now, he has to eat and drink through a tube.
"Before, I used to have to hold my hand up to my jaw to keep my face still so I could talk properly and I would have liquid running out the side of my face if I tried to drink.
"When I had that first glass of water wearing the prosthetic face, nothing came out – it was amazing."
Andrew Dawood was the dental surgeon and implant specialist Mr Moger was reffered to. He began using 3D printing a couple of years ago to help produce replicas of his patient's jaw bones so he could practice surgical procedures.
"We put the CT scan and facial scan together and used software to plan what we wanted him to look like,” said Dr. Dawood.
They did this by mirroring the right side of Mr. Moger’s face.
Karen Hunger, his fiancé, said, "The first time I saw him after the surgery it was a big shock. You get used to seeing the whole person, but suddenly he had a big hole where other things should have been.
"He does wonder why I am still here and want to get married to him, but when you love someone you love all of them."
"Now he has got the prosthesis, it looks so lifelike. I don't know how they have done it, but it really does look like him. When he puts it in, he has his whole face back. We have been in limbo for such a long time now, so we are hoping to get some sort of life back."
Mr. Moger now gets to plan his wedding they had to put on hold years ago.
"We are still going to get married when this is all sorted out," he said. "I am going to get some new teeth fitted which means I can chew again too, but after that I am looking forward to getting married and restarting my life.
"Now I have a new face for the wedding I can restart my life after having it on hold for four and a half years."
3D printing can manufacture a new life.