Man's ribs used to rebuild his nose after it was ripped off by his dog (PHOTOs)

Monday, July 08, 2024 - A man who lost his nose when his dog attacked him and ripped it off while trying to save him from a seizure has undergone ten reconstructive surgeries using bones from his ribs.

The man, Ben Horne, 34, has suffered from epilepsy since he was 15 but after undergoing a change of medication he started having night seizures.

During one episode, his dog Henry mauled Ben’s face, ripping off his nose, and parts of his mouth and chin. He managed to call for an ambulance but struggled to come to terms with his new appearance.

Over the last five years, he has had around ten surgeries to reconstruct his face, using bones from his ribs and skin from his forearm and forehead.

Now he is finally starting to accept himself and hopes by sharing his story he can help others going through something similar.

Ben, of Yeovil, Somerset said: “During one of my night seizures my dog got scared.

“In the process, he did a lot of damage to my face.

“My whole house was plastered in blood. I called 999. I couldn’t really talk but I managed to convey I needed an ambulance.

“When I came round a nurse said ‘I’m going to hand you a mirror and it’s going to be a big shock.

“I couldn’t quite believe the amount of damage. It was heart-breaking. I’m really trying to accept myself.

“It’s learning to love yourself and the way that you are rather than reflecting on how you used to be.”

After the incident in November 2019, Ben’s top lip was hanging down, he’d lost a lot of his chin and was only left with the septum bone in his nose.

He was rushed to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, for a 10-hour emergency operation.

Ben, an aerospace engineer, said: “I remember looking in the mirror and I just wished that I hadn’t managed to call an ambulance.

“I didn’t see how I could live with what happened.”

Ben decided to go down the route of reconstruction and had an initial reconstruction in May 2021 due to delays during the pandemic at Southmead Hospital, Bristol.

This involved creating more of a septum for his nose but this collapsed after he had to wait until October 2021 for the next surgery.

They took skin from his left forearm to create the inner part of his nose.

Ben said: “Both my forearms are tattooed so I had to make a decision over which I preferred.

“At least I can say I have a tattoo inside my nose.”

They also took bones from his ribs in the same surgery and an artery from his forearm to connect this to his neck.

Ben said: “I found it very difficult.

“I always tried to keep looking forward.

“Having a tattooed chunk on my face that I had to put make-up on every day.”

He had another surgery in September 2022 to take part of the skin from his forehead and fold it down over the top of the tattooed skin.

Ben said: “Having the forehead flap – it was huge on my face.

“They have to leave the skin connected so you have a huge lump hanging over your eyes.

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