A 22-year-old skateboarder and model has undergone a “complex” $400,000 surgery in an attempt to restore her smile one year after her entire top lip was ripped off by an attacking pit bull. Brooklinn Khoury was visiting family in Arizona on November 3, 2020 when the animal began “sharking her head like a toy,” leaving her with horrific injuries.
Khoury had mixed feelings about the surgery. While she was looking forward to starting the journey to hopefully getting her old smile back, the fact that the procedure was so complex and painful to heal from made her feel hesitant. “I’m excited to get surgery to begin to heal again and work with this doctor but I’m also really sad to have to stop my life again and kind of heal, and to go through the healing process,” she said in a YouTube video posted a few days before the surgery.
The healing process will slow her down considerably. Khoury considers herself a very active person and struggles to deal with the fact that she won’t be able to skateboard for a while as she heals. “I feel like I’m such an active person, so for me to be out for a little bit, it hurts my head mentally,” she said. “Coming out of the surgery, I am not going to be able to move my mouth at all, so I have to have a feeding tube up my nose. I have to be on a liquid diet. I have to be in the hospital for five days after the surgery. It’s gonna be a lot, so I’m gonna need all the prayers I can get.”
This is only the first surgery of many. While the procedure she’s undergone will undoubtedly make a big difference for Khoury, she’s well aware that she’ll likely require up to five more procedures moving forward to really complete the work. “It’s not going to look like a perfect lip, it’s just the foundation,” she said. She went on to say that surgeons planned to take skin and an artery from her arm to put on her mouth as they build her a new lip. “The artery needs to supply blood so they’re going to cut a little of my neck and take the artery underneath my skin and connect it to my lip so that I have blood flow for the new skin,” she said.
It took Khoury a long time to find a doctor willing to undertake the work. Given the complexity of the situation, Khoury struggled to find a good surgeon who felt confident he could help her. “I finally found a doctor and I’m working with him. He has the best heart and he’s so open-minded, he just thinks beyond the box,” she said. “It’s amazing. He’s creative, he’s artsy, that’s something that I really wanted in a doctor so I’m so happy I found it. It took a year, but it was well worth the wait.”
Brooklyn had her surgery on November 17 and appears to be out of the hospital, though she’s yet to update fans on how she feels following the procedure.
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