Eye cancer misdiagnosed as migraine ate a giant hole in a father of four's face.
Doctors told Danny Hunt, 58, he was suffering from migraines before it was discovered he had a severe form of cancer in his eye.
Hunt’s right eye was removed along with bone in his nose and jaw.
Now doctors have created a special ‘flap’ using skin from his back and an artery in his leg to cover the horrific hole in his face caused by the cancer.
Danny began suffering severe headaches and throat infections in 2008.
His doctor diagnosed him with laryngitis, while hospital staff said he must be suffering from migraines.
According to Danny’s wife, Mandy, her husband had a “lump” next to his eye that was getting “bigger and bigger.”
The couple, from Islington, north London, went to the nearby Moorfields Eye Hospital to get a specialist opinion.
"They said 'there’s something not right, there’s something at the back of your eye,'" Mandy recalled.
Specialists told the man he had a tumor with “spider legs,” an indicator of a particularly nasty form of eye cancer.
By 2009, Hunt’s right eye was removed.
"He has had so many operations,” Mandy said. “Because there’s no bone in his nose, everything comes out of his nose. The bone underneath the brain has crumbled," she explained.
Hunt’s son Stephen, now 24, spent two years helping his dad clean out anything that got stuck in his nose after the surgery.
Nurses were apparently not allowed to clean out the eye socket on visits, which meant various body secretions were left to build up in Hunt's face and flooded into his lungs.
Hunt is now too weak to have facial reconstruction.
The year before being diagnosed with cancer, Hunt underwent separate surgery after doctors discovered that a bout of tuberculosis in his 20’s had “crystalized” the sack around his heart. The upper part of his right lung also had to be removed.
He was additionally diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting the body’s tissue.
Mandy said she encouraged her husband to see a doctor about a dip in his chest after she watched a medical documentary about the condition.
A silver bar had to be inserted into his chest as the dip was putting pressure onto Hunt's heart.
The former gardener's weak state has left doctors with no choice but to fashion a “flap” using skin from his back and an artery in his leg to cover the hole in his face.
Mandy said the last few years have been “heartbreaking” for her family.
The couple have been married for 38 years and have four children and nine grandchildren, with another on the way.
"He was healthy, energetic. He used to work 16 hours a day. He just wanted to give his kids everything. He’s such a hard worker. He loved his job,” Mandy said.
"They expected him to die. They said ‘you are lucky to be alive’. That’s because so much was wrong with him."
Mandy says her husband is “skeletal” from not eating and is embarrassed to be seen in public with part of his face missing.
She said: "Children see him and laugh at him. The little ones just don’t understand.
"Our granddaughter Lily is one. If Danny’s on the sofa and she looks at him, he frightens the life out of her and she just screams."
Another of their nine grandchildren is said to ask when his granddad will be “getting a new eye.”
Hunt is currently waiting for new dentures to be made, after radiotherapy destroyed his natural teeth.
He will then need to have a new “mouth shield” made, to replace the palate in his mouth that was removed in the surgery.
"It’s just heartbreaking when all this has come about,” his wife said. "I can’t believe what we have been through."