Thirteen years ago, when British soldier Ingram served in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the peacekeeping force, during his patrol he met a four year old boy with a rare facial deformity. Ingram (46), who is a father of four, was so deeply touched with the little Stefan Savic misfortune that he promised to help him and ensure him the most modern treatment in Great Britain. He fulfilled his promise.
Stefan Savic was born with Tessier facial cleft, bone block in the middle of his face instead of his nose, which was pressing his skull and pushed his eyes to the side so he could not see in front of himself.
Young Bosnian had not one, but five surgeries. After the last one, Stefan had an incredible recovery.
- I am very proud. The entire situation was filled with emotions. Stefan's transformation was remarkable. If you have told me thirteen years ago that i will become friends with little boy from Bosnia and his family, i would not believe you. But now there is unbreakable bond between us. Besides facial deformation, he was normal, playful young boy. In that time i had two sons and there was no way i was just going to stand aside and do nothing. I momentarily knew what i had to do to help - said Ingram.
In the first surgery, Stefan had all his teeth puled out and his skull was reconstructed. In the second, 12 hour surgery, bone block was removed and new nose has been "made". In third surgery, nasal airways were reconstructed.
Two years ago, Ingram gathered 20 thousand pounds more, and Stefan returned to UK to fourth surgery which corrected his face and teeth and additionally helped with his breathing problems. And after the last surgery, his nose was shaped with cartilage from ears.
- Our farewell after the last surgery was sad. This was my life for the past 13 years. So far i always knew he would return to UK at some moment and i will see him again, but not anymore. I don't know when will i see him again because i can't afford the trip to Bosnia at the moment - added Ingram.
— Wayne Ingram (@wayneingramuk) November 21, 2016
16-year-old Stefan plays the accordion in the band and wants to become an installer of air-conditioning.
- All i can say is thank you. Again and again, to everyone that helped me - said Stefan.
His mother Slava also thanked Dr David without whose excellent knowledge, skills and commitment, Stefan's life would be a lot different, and Ingram, and she says that words cannot describe what he has done for their family.