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Times of India
11 June 2010
By Vishakha Sharma

Face-Saving GestureBefore
An infant,whose face was badly mauled by a mongoose six months back,is slowly acquiring a presentable one,thanks to a doctor who did reconstructive surgery free of cost

In a horrific incident that occurred in January 2010 at the College of Military Engineering (CME) in Khadki,a mongoose had viciously attacked a 45–day–old baby,leaving its face severely disfigured.

For parents it was a trauma to live with day in and out.Their main concern was how would the child face this trauma when he grows up.They had immediately approached a government hospital after the attack,but after the preliminary treatment there,they approached Dr Sumit Saxena,a plastic and cosmetic surgeon who came to their help,offering his expertise free in a private set–up.

While speaking to Pune Mirror Dr Saksena said,When Ayush was brought to me in the month of March,his condition was pathetic,with a battered face.His mouth and nose were.His nasal openings were blocked and were not visible.He wasnt able to breathe through his nose and was using his mouth for breathing.This was leading to growth retardation.He was also extremely underweight.Both his upper and lower lip,with surrounding skin,was also badly scarred.

Face-Saving Gesture
My first step was to open his nostrils.In March I did the first surgery on him,which was to create a nasal opening.The second step was to correct his mouth.I did the reconstruction of the lower–lip in May.By the time I did the second surgery his condition had improved and he had gained weight too.Next step involved a framework for his nose and upper lip.He would require further three or four stages in a span of few months to give him a pleasing appearance, he said.

This was how the face looked immediately after the attack by the mongooseThis was how the face looked immediately after the attack by the mongoose
Ayush was sleeping in his cradle when the incident had taken place.His mother had gone out after feeding him while his father was out working.Thereafter,what happened is unimaginable.A mongoose had slipped inside the house and bit his face.The faced a nightmare,most of us dare not even imagine living with.Ayushs plight drew the attention of neighbouring army officers,who picked him up and rushed him to the hospital.

When Pune Mirror spoke to Ayushs mother Lata Dhage she said,I am relieved and very happy for my son to be alive and improving.I am also very grateful to Dr Saksena for treating my son for free.

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