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An Air Force nurse about to leave the service is badly disfigured about her face in a car accident in which she also loses her baby. Her husband cannot deal with her disfigurement and she goes through a depression wondering why she was kept alive. The drunk driver who ploughed into her car is let off with a very lenient punishment, too. A doctor at the hospital sees potential in reconstructing this nurse's face. This doctor extends her enlistment so this nurse will be eligible for medical treatment covered by the armed forces over the entire course of the reconstructive surgeries. In the course of the reconstruction, the doctor and the nurse must overcome several obstacles. These range from the personal, where the nurse wonders if the doctor is only doing this for his own fame, to the bureaucracy, which has problems with the use of labial tissue from the vaginal area to reconstruct the nurse's lips. All through her treatment the nurse continues her duties at the hospital when she is ... Written by
Gwynne M. Osaki <email@example.com>
Dr. James O. Stallings III died in September 1991 (suicide) after struggling with Epstein-Barr virus (diagnosed 1987). See more »
On Screen Text:
[last lines, the text that appears on screen]
One year and 40 operations later, Leola May and Dr. James Stallings moved to New York City where Leola worked as Dr. Stallings' surgical nurse. Her appearance was a testament to other severely injured patients. Leola May and Dr. James Stallings married and continued to work together as a team.
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Tale of the personal tragedy and ultimate survival
This is a wonderful film for both those who have and have not experienced such trauma. I saw this film in the 80's. I had a car accident in 1997. My face popped through the windshield, leaving me temporarily blind and with deformed facial features that required a half dozen surgeries over 3 years. Today, you'd never know it ever happened to me, my surgeon was amazing, but when Leola unwrapped her bandages for the first time and saw her face it sent chills down my spine. I cried when I saw my face too... I believed my whole life was over. The portrayal of her emotional state immediately after the accident, her absolute need to get "back to normal" and back to work just 5 weeks after the accident, and especially the patience required to let the skin heal through the initial trauma and all of the follow-up surgeries was absolutely accurate. There is something for all of us to learn from Leola's story and I am glad they put her story on the screen. MFTV, yes, but one of the best of these types of films, and certainly one of the most inspirational and accurate survival stories I have ever seen.
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