If a person is not happy with the size, shape, or look of their nose, they can often have rhinoplasty to alter and enhance the look of the nose. However, what if a person is born without a nose? Is there a solution to help a person somehow gain a nose for their face? The amazing answer is revealed in the story shared in this article.
By all accounts, Harrison “Gray” Canales had a typical childhood even though his life was not an easy one. His early childhood was filled with multiple surgeries that were needed due to Canales being born with a severe bilateral congenital deformity.
Once his parents were twenty weeks into their pregnancy, they received the results of a sonogram that revealed their baby would likely have complicated medical issues. As this baby was the first child, the parents had a tough time facing the diagnosis.
Mary Jo Canales, his mother, shared her feelings with a reporter. “The doctor said the baby is coming with many problems, and actually, he couldn’t really say whether he would be able to survive. So, the rest of the pregnancy was really difficult to deal with that. Am I …are we going to hold our baby or not?”
The father of the baby, John Canales, recalled the birth of the baby. “There he was, this little, tiny guy who fit on my forearm. And I looked at him, and he was just the most beautiful little thing in the world.”
The condition known as a bilateral congenital deformity is a physical abnormality that is present on both sides of the nose (which is why it is referred to as bilateral). It is also a condition that is present at birth (which is why it is referred to as congenital). When it came to the extent of the condition for Canales, he was born without a nose.
According to his mother, “I always thought Gray was our special gift from God. I would say in Spanish he is ‘mi Tesoro, my treasure, my little treasure.’ He still is”
Thanks to the support of his family and the medical community, Gray never felt like he was any different from others in his life. He felt the lack of a nose was simply something that he grew up with from the day of his birth. He has never let his condition define him and Gray also has a close group of friends who “accepted me for who I was.”
When it came time to find a plastic surgeon to address the medical condition, one of the doctors who took on the case described it by saying, “In terms of the difficulty of his nasal reconstruction, it was essentially as hard as we’ve done.” The task included the creation of a nose which required a total nasal reconstruction by the surgical team.
The process also gave Gray the opportunity to choose his nose which meant looking through photos to find the nose that he felt was the perfect fit for his face. In the end, he chose a nose that resembled the nose of his paternal grandfather. He had never met his grandfather, but he had heard numerous stories about the man that warmed his heart. Gray also told the doctors that he would not be opposed to also working in some of the aspects of the nose of Chris Pratt if it was possible.
His medical team praised the ongoing optimism of Canales even through multiple surgeries and some setbacks. One doctor said, “Spend some time with him today. You’ll see what a remarkable kid he is.” The doctor also noted that Canales never complained no matter the setbacks or bumps in the road.
When asked about the look of his new nose, Canales said, “Wow, it’s different. It’s big and different. I’ve just been happy with what I look like. Having a new nose, it’s great to have now.”
He also acknowledged that it might alter the way people view his appearance in the future. “It might affect getting a job a little bit, so hopefully, now that this is all complete, that’ll help me a little bit.”
Besides his personal growth with the addition of a new nose, Canales makes sure to help his community by mentoring children who have craniofacial differences along with being a volunteer at his church. “I want to share what my experiences are. I want people to know what I’ve gone through. Be happy with the way you are.”
His story shows the power of modern medicine and the ability of cosmetic surgery to alter the life of a person for the better by improving the functionality of the targeted part of the body and increasing the amount of self-esteem felt by the patient along with an improved self-confidence in their appearance.