Mario's Jaw Reconstruction Surgery

On a regular day in March 2016, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, everything changed for Mario. Followed home from work, a group of guys robbed him at gunpoint, and left him fighting for his life after they shot him. He was able to get to a hospital for life saving surgery (no small feat in Haiti), but he lost a large portion of his lower jaw in the process.

Fall of 2016, he received a surgery to place a rib bone in his jaw. All seemed promising; he would be able to eat again. Unfortunately the rib bone is not an ideal graft, and it was only a few months later that things began to fail; the bone and hardware began to come out of his gums, leaving him in excruciating pain.

I met Mario last summer, and spent many days at the café where he worked, learning of his story, his love for his son, and how he just wishes he could eat regularly again.


Once I learned that the original surgery failed, and he was in need of a highly qualified Oral Surgeon, I felt the tug to take action. Through the power of community, and asking too many people to track, a Maxillofacial Oral Surgeon, (trained at the Ohio State University Dental School)  was located who was willing and able to take on Mario’s case. Dr. Tim Bartholomew has served in West Africa for the past decade, working on extremely complicated and difficult cases, including gunshot wounds. We got Tim Mario’s xrays and pictures, and developed a surgery plan for Mario.

To fix, repair, and rebuild Mario’s jaw, there needs to be three surgeries.

Surgery 1: Removal
The rib bone, any splinters, and all hardware will be removed from Mario’s jaw, allowing his mouth to heal.

Surgery 2: New gums
Pectoral muscle from Mario’s chest will be transplanted and placed in his mouth to provide a new gum base for the new jaw.

Surgery 3: Bone Graft
Hip bone (strong and sturdy) will be removed from his hip, and grafted into the gum line to build a solid new jaw for Mario.

Currently Dr. Bartholomew is serving in a missionary hospital in Honduras, so Mario will be traveling to his hospital for surgery. Most likely he will be able to have the first and second surgery in one trip, and then travel back to Haiti for recovery, and then return for his third surgery and spend time in Honduras to heal for a bit before heading home to Haiti. If there are any visa or healing complications, he will take 3 trips for the 3 surgeries. Let’s pray all goes well and he only needs two trips.

The series of surgeries will take place over the course of a few months, timing depending on how quickly he heals between each surgery in order to ensure success for each step of the way.

His first surgery needs to happen urgently, as the rib bone continues to be exposed and cause intense pain. Scheduling wise, with Dr. Bartholomew’s schedule, securing Mario’s visa to travel to Honduras, and purchasing tickets, we are looking at having him travel the end of January.

So, today we are asking you to be part of Mario’s jaw reconstruction story and donate to help with expenses. Travel, 3 surgeries, housing, and miscellaneous expenses that occur with travel adds up to approximately $5000. Whatever amount you are able to give will help, whether $5, $50, or $500, or any amount in between. And, will you please share this link with your friends so they can help Mario receive his life changing surgery and he can be closer to eating again.

The journey for Mario has been long and painful, and after months of praying, asking, and planning, we are on the verge of healing and recovery. Will you join us in these final stages and give today towards his medical needs?

*If we receive more than the $5000, it will be applied towards Phase 2: Implants & dentures to give him teeth for chewing (which is in the beginning phases of planning), but he needs to be healed from his jaw surgeries first.

On behalf of Mario, thank you for your support and encouragement as he walks this difficult road and towards surgery and healing.

Donations ()

  • Anonymous 
    • 20 $ 
    • 17 mos
  • Erma Yoder 
    • 100 $ 
    • 23 mos
  • Eric Greenberg 
    • 5 $ 
    • 24 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • 30 $ 
    • 24 mos
  • Lauren Brownlee 
    • 10 $ 
    • 24 mos
See all

Organizer

Autumn Leigh 
Organizer
Vermilion, OH
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more