New Docuseries Highlights Brave Woman and Surgeons who Defeat Rare Tumor With Surgery


There is a new show on television that showcases the experiences of patients and doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. On its first premiere, it showed the amazing story of Loretta. Loretta, a former police officer, was living a normal life until she quickly she found herself diagnosed with an extremely rare facial tumor. It is so rare that the disease has only 50 documented cases.

Loretta’s rare cancer was treated with medication and chemotherapy, but none of these worked. Finally she was faced with a decision to undergo a radical surgical procedure. She would have to undergo a 12 hour surgery to have half of her face removed- including her upper jaw and right eye- in order to remove the tumor and saver her life.

Even the surgeons themselves were anxious about the operation because while in the past it has been common practice for surgeons to remove the cancer for a patient, the procedure will also attempt to reconstruct Loretta’s face to give her a good quality of life. It should come as no surprise that being severely disfigured can impact a person’s quality of life. Surgeons planned to reconstruct Loretta’s face by cutting an identical amount of bone from her hipbone and using to replace the missing portion of her face. This procedure has to be done with complete precision and accuracy.

The surgical team was anxious but the surgery, which was aired on the new docuseries Surgeons: On The Edge of Life, ultimately went smoothly.

Aside from encountering one major artery, which was damaged because of the tumor, they were able to successfully remove the diseased bone and tissue and Loretta showed an extreme amount of appreciation, satisfaction, and gratitude for being given a second chance. She can be seen holding a silicone eye at the end of the episode which will be placed in a few months after her surgery. She was pleased with the medical and cosmetic results and says, “I’m coming out today feeling confident that I have a future and I’m excited.”

Learn more about the series and Loretta’s story here.

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