By A Correspondent- It was an exceptional long weekend for 9-year-old Rodwell Khomazana, as he received his prosthetic nose at the Capital Prosthodontics and Henk Cronje of Dura Art Dental Laboratory in Pretoria.
The brave Zimbabwean boy was ecstatic to receive this gift after he was brutally attacked by a hyena at a night vigil he had attended with his grandmother outside Harare late in May.
The Smile Foundation and outstanding medical practitioners, who included Dr Avish Jay Jagathpal and his team, sponsored Khomazana with a prosthetic nose and made sure he received pro bono services throughout his implanting surgery.
“From the day I had met Rodwell, I knew that making him a prosthetic nose will be a challenge. The biggest hurdles to overcome were the multiple grafts from different parts of his body that introduced many different colours to the palette, and his age meant that the size of his face will change drastically over the years to come,” said Jagathpal.
It had taken three weeks to record the positions of the missing nose, the topography of the grafted skin, and the positions of each of the implants, he said. And when Khomazana puts it on, it forms a seal that enables him to breathe through it.
“The maxillofacial surgeon had fortunately placed implants into the upper jaw that we had used to construct a cobalt-chromium bar with magnets on it.
“This bar would remain in place over the years, but the silicone nose would easily be changed with time as his grafted skin shrinks and his face grows,” explained Jagathpal.
His mother, Shamiso Mabiko has been educated on how to clean the inside magnetic bar – the nose clips on and off like a magnet.
“My son’s confidence has been restored after the procedure. I am very happy about Rodwell’s new nose. He gave a big thumbs up for a successful operation,” said Mabiko.
In a few years’ time, Khomazana will undergo reconstructive surgery for a new nose. The medical experts who have been on his journey to success describe him as a “hero without a cape”