One bad decision

In her youth Carol Bryan from Florida was considered a very attractive woman. When she was in her 20s, she felt confident and happy with her physical appearance. But when Carol turned 30, that healthy self-image changed and she began to start doubting various aspects of her body.

At first she simply wanted to use some Botox to remove some wrinkles around her eyes. Carol was impressed with the results — the effect was subtle but definitely an improvement. It was her first "baby step" into the world of cosmetic surgery and she was very happy with her decision.

You can find out more about Carol's story here in this video:

As the years went on, Carol began noticing other changes in her appearance that annoyed her. Her cheeks were beginning to sag and her forehead was showing obvious wrinkles. Having already had a good experience, Carol decided to find out what type of cosmetic surgery could help with these new signs of aging. She eventually found a doctor who recommended injectable fillers. To Carol it sounded like a logical solution, but she had no idea how wrong she was.

At the age of 47 Carol underwent surgery to inject these fillers into her problem areas. Yet, as simple as the procedure sounds, it requires training and skills that — it turned out — the doctor she had chosen didn't have. During the surgery, the doctor mixed two different types of fillers (one made of silicone) in one syringe and injected them in the wrong areas. Over the next three months, Carol's face began to swell dangerously. At its worst point the swelling was so bad that she had to tape her eyelids open so she could see.

Carol sought medical help and a long process of corrective surgery began. To her disappointment, after four years of this, things had only gotten worse. Carol was so ashamed of her appearance that she wouldn't even leave home. She felt like a monster and wouldn't even let her friends and family see her.

Carol's daughter Sofia decided that something had to be done. She took some photos of her mother and sent them — along with a letter explaining her mother's story — to hospitals all over the country. As Sofia followed up on this correspondence, she received one rejection after the other. That is until one day when she got a call from Dr. Reza Jarrahy, Co-Director of the UCLA Craniofacial Clinic. And it was good news: he wanted to help!