Four years ago Eric Moger, 60, went in for a routine operation to remove nasal polyps. His doctors discovered a tennis-ball sized tumor nesting behind his nose and left eye. Eric was quickly diagnosed with advanced Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and doctors had to remove most of the left side of his face, including his eye, in order to get rid of the cancer. Part of his upper palette was also removed, leaving Eric unable to eat or drink normally.
Eric is cancer free now, but his face was permanently disfigured because of the operation. He began to spiral into depression, refusing to leave the house and putting off the wedding he had planned with his fiancee, Karen.
Over the next four years Eric had eight unsuccessful reconstruction surgeries. As a last ditch effort, he agreed to appear on a British reality show called "Embarrassing Bodies". The staff of Embarrassing Bodies was able to connect Eric with dental surgeon Andrew Dawood, of Dawood & Tanner Dental Practice in London.
Dawood used a digital scanner to capture Eric's face and then used digital software to design a prosthetic mask. The virtual design copied the right side of Eric's face and reversed it so that the left side would match. Next, Dawood used a 3D printer to build a nylon prosthetic mold. Once he had the mold printed he filled it with silicone to create a durable prosthetic for Eric to wear.
The design and printing process took six weeks. Dawood's hard work paid off though, the minute Eric held the prosthetic up to his face for the first time.
As miraculous as that process was, Dawood wasn't done. He designed a scaffold that could be put into the cavity of Eric's face to hold the mask in place and created a mouth implant that would seal off Eric's mouth and allow him to eat and drink normally.
We have a video of Eric's journey here, including his Embarrassing Bodies appearance. Please be warned that parts of this video are graphic (to say the least). If you're at all squeamish, give it a pass.