Hope is on the horizon for a Bangladeshi man left severely disfigured following a vicious tiger attack.
Hashmot Ali, 45, lost almost his entire face as a result of the incident – and multiple attempts to reconstruct his face have all failed thus far.
The father-of-three has been in ‘hiding’ for the 23 years since the brutal mauling out of fears he would be judged by cruel strangers.
He will now make the eight-hour journey to the country’s capital, Dhaka, to speak to reconstruction specialists in hope of having his face fixed.
Hashmot said: ‘I feel it’s very important that I get my looks back to normal by getting a good treatment. I desperately need to get my deformed face fixed.
Hashmot Ali, 45, lost almost his entire face after being attacked by a tiger, and has spent most of the 23 years since in hiding
‘I want to live my life with pride; I don’t want to hide behind this mask anymore. I have done enough hiding, now I want to live with pride and joy with my kids.
‘If my face is fixed somehow, I will be able to go anywhere I want without being embarrassed. I dream and hope to mingle with people with ease and comfort.’
The horrific attack occurred while Hashmot was working as a fisherman and was sleeping in a docked boat in a forest canal.
Hashmot has had several surgeries since the incident in an attempt to reconstruct the left side of his face, including three unsuccessful attempts at skin grafts.
But now, he will make the eight-hour journey to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, in search of life-changing surgery to reconstruct his face
Hashmot said: ‘I feel it’s very important that I get my looks back to normal by getting a good treatment. I desperately need to get my deformed face fixed (pictured: a scan of his skull)
RECONSTRUCTION: THE FACTS
Facial reconstruction surgery is used to restore a person’s appearance to a ‘relatively normal condition’, experts at the Royal Free London Hospital say.
Traumatic injuries, such as tiger bites and car crashes are just a few that can potentially severely damage a person’s face. Genetic defects can also lead some to want surgery.
The procedures to repair someone’s face involve the skull, brain, nerves, eyes and facial bones – meaning plastic surgeons often work with brain surgeons.
Such operations can last up to 12 hours, and bone from elsewhere in the body is often used.
Now, after facing his fears and revisiting the scene of the attack, he will travel to Dhaka where he hopes doctors can offer him reconstructive surgery and change his life.
The father-of-three has lived a life of seclusion since the attack, confining himself to his own village for fear of judgement from outsiders.
Hashmot, who lives with his wife, two sons, and a daughter, will meet with doctors that are offering treatment to reconstruct his face, using skin from other parts of his body.
The series of procedures would be carried out over two years, and if Hashmot decides to go ahead with them, could give him the life he’s been yearning for.
Shakila Akter, Hashmot’s wife, said: ‘We would be very happy if Hashmot is cured. My whole family would love to have a healthy and normal Hashmot with us.
‘He won’t have to hide himself from common people.’
Hashmot’s journey appears alongside other amazing stories in the first episode in the new series of Body Bizarre, airing in the UK on Thursday.
Body Bizarre is on Thursday, October 28 at 10pm on TLC UK.