Girl with 'half a face' gets surgery

11:00 AEST Fri Dec 20 2013
Natasha Lee

A teenager known as 'The Girl With Half a Face' due to large tumour growing over the right side of her face has undergone surgery to transform her appearance.

Sarah Atwell, 17, from Nova Scotia, Canada, was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis at an early age and has been bullied throughout her childhood.

It's a condition that has caused a large tumour to grow and practically overtake the right side of her face.

Now, after undergoing a complicated four-hour operation, Atwell has told Fox News that she is "delighted" with the way her new face looks.

"I was pretty happy, because I had straight lips," said an emotional Atwell.

"I kept looking in the mirror and taking pictures of myself. My mum and my neighbours were shocked. We sent my dad pictures, and he was really happy. He said as long as I'm happy, he's happy."

Atwell shot to fame in 2012 after uploading a video to YouTube where she tackled her bullies head-on.

In a series of cards held up to camera, Atwell says: "I have a tumour, that's all… I wish people could understand there is nothing wrong with me.

Another reads: "I get called names all the time – it hurts.

"Maybe one day the bullying will stop, but until then I'm going to be STRONG."

Doctors have told Atwell that she still needs to undergo further surgeries and cannot promise that her tumour will not grow back.


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