The Man With No Face

7.5/10

For the past 35 years, 51 year-old Jose Mestre, from Lisbon, has been losing his face to a massive growth, distorting it out of all recognition – and it’s still growing.

The tumour on Jose’s face is a vascular malformation, a collection of blood vessels that have expanded, producing a raised red area on the skin. Jose was born with a strawberry-coloured birth mark on his upper lip; at puberty his face started growing, eventually smothering his lips, nose and one of his eyes. It’s now about 33cm long and weighs around 3kg.

The Man with No Face meets the man behind the ‘mask’ and attempts to understand what it is like to have such an affliction. How does he cope with day to day life – with the stares, the ridicule and people taking photographs?

Surrounded by a loving family, it seems incredible that he has not been treated and his face was allowed to grow so big. However, through years of medical misinformation, some misdiagnosis, lack of finances, and reluctance to undergo treatment due to religious beliefs, the growth has continued to obliterate his face.

My Shocking Story follows Jose on a journey through Europe to seek medical advice for one last chance to stop his face from suffocating him. In this journey of a lifetime he will discover the truth about his condition, as he travels by train, via Paris, to Britain, to meet the top experts in London. He will go through a series of tests, consultations, and meet other patients with a similar affliction. Here he will also spend time with his brother and the rest of his family, enjoy being a tourist in London, while making the biggest decision of his life:

Jose’s dream is to live a long and normal life. Will he decide to change his religious beliefs, and risk an operation to remove his malformation, or will he decide against surgery and accept that he will continue living the rest of his life without a face?

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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Discuss This Documentary

  • me.

    this is ridiculous. he should have had his condition treated years ago and for him to be unable to make a clear, logical decision was astounding. i don’t blame his sister at all for becoming so frustrated with him. she’s a saint for staying around. i cannot comprehend what would be so hard in deciding to go through with a surgery that would greatly improve his quality of life.

  • Andreja

    It so ridiculous. People want doctors to help them, but not against their religion. It kind of seems to me that God hated you in first place, now let the doctors do their job. Or wait for the God to finish what he started.
    I feel sorry for the sister. She want him to be better, but he’s just being an ass. She took him on the other side of the Europe to help him.
    I think he likes people to feel sorry for him and don’t want to lose that, ’cause he’ll have nothing to be mad about.

  • Carlos

    I remember seeing Jose when I was a kid. his growth was half the size it is today. to be hones I though he died as I never saw him again. Yes, he is afraid of change. he lived all his life like that. wouldn’t you?

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