A three-year-old boy in Morocco who was born without eyes, nose and upper jaw was given a new chance to live a normal life when he was offered with new facial features through reconstructive surgery.
Yahya El Jabaly has spent the first three years of his life isolated from other people. He suffers from anemia and vitamin D deficiency, which has kept him from enjoying the same things that other children his age do.
The toddler was also born without much of his face, and some even consider his birth and survival all these years as a miracle.
When Melbourne-native Fatima Baraka found out about Yahya's story, she was touched by his predicament and she helped convinced others that the young boy deserves to have a face.
Baraka, who was born in a village close to Yahya's hometown in Morocco, started to raise funds and looked for a surgeon who can operate on the boy. She then arranged Yahya and his family to be flown in to Australia for the toddler's surgery.
The surgeon Baraka found was Dr. Tony Holmes, who separated the Bangladeshi conjoined twins Trishna and Krishna in 2009. He led the team of surgeons that conducted the 18-hour operation to remodel the bones on Yahya's face.
After the successful operation, Yahya's parents were brought to tears upon seeing their son's face.
"It's a huge joy, a huge happiness to see my son in such a situation," Yahya's father, Mostafa, said.
Baraka, a survivor of breast cancer, was equally overjoyed to find out about the success of the operation.
"I just can't believe what he's been through and how he just comes out and gets better and better every time," Baraka said.
"He looks like a normal little boy."
Baraka added that she believes Yahya is a smart child and he deserves to have a bright and healthy future.
According to Holmes, the surgery on Yahya was as challenging as it gets. He explained that there could be a chance that the boy may not die if we did not operate on him, but there is also a chance that he might if they did.
Holmes said that the risks related to the surgery were great but they were all worth it in order to give Yahya a chance at a decent life.
While Yahya still needs to undergo additional procedures to reconstruct his eyes and nose, the doctors believe the young boy will be able to talk one day as his vocal chords were spared from any damages during the operation.