An aspiring actress is ready to return to the stage after a rare, horrific flesh eating virus left her features so ravaged she actually sneezed out her own septum.
Lois Temel, 41, from the Isle of White is the first person in Britain to undergo specialist surgery after she contracted necrotising fasciitis, which left her with a hole in her face.
Lois actually beat the disease once, only for it to return a second time, and she also contracted swine flu during the 2009 pandemic.
And, sadly, she didn’t just lose her nose bone as a result of the gruesome disease, she also lost her job.
Fortunately, after undergoing five surgeries to help rebuild her face, Lois is now ready to tread the boards once again.
As reported by the Mirror Online, Lois said:
At first I didn’t have any pain in my face – I just felt really run down and weary all the time. I had about a year of being passed from doctor to doctor and it was only when decided to put a camera up my nose that they diagnosed it – when he saw the damage he said ‘your face is empty’.
I just sneezed and blood started flowing out of my nose and I looked down at my hand and there was a lump of bone, which turned out to be my septum. They thought they had got it all but there is always risk that it could come back and it did return through bad luck – it’s quite rare in the face anyway.
You can take a closer look at how the virus ate away at her face below but, be warned, this is about as gruesome and NOPE-worthy as it gets. Not for the faint of heart!
Lois was the first person in the UK to undergo Bioactive Glass facial reconstruction and the NHS had to fly in specialist U.S. surgeons for the procedure in 2008. Following the surgery, she required lung drainage, speech therapy, physiotherapy and respiratory physio.
The pioneering surgery completely ridded her of the flesh eating virus, but she still had to go under the knife another four times to halt the necrotising fasciitis and prevent it from coming back. Terrifyingly, she was warned that if the disease returned, it could attack her brain and she may be killed.
Lois hit rock bottom at the start of 2015 and things got so bad she even contemplated suicide. But, now, after one of her friends booked her on a voice masterclass at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Lois is eyeing studying a masters qualification at the school to turn her life around.
January this year was one of the bleakest and I felt like I wanted to quit and did not want to carry on with this life. I had no house, no partner, no job, no kids – what was the point anymore?
But acting has given me a real reason to go on and I find it very freeing and liberating. I gave it up in my twenties because I wanted to have all the things grown-ups have and work a real job. RADA is an amazing school full of inspiring people and it is a wonderful chance to do what I love.
Lois is currently fundraising to cover her course fees. You can donate at her GoFundMe page.