Somaliland: Edna and Ayaan Conduct a Pre-10 hour Surgery Press Briefing in Australia


Ayan and Edna in a pre surgery press conference in Brisbane Australia

Somalilandsun – Ayan Mohamed from Somaliland will undergo facial reconstruction surgery at The Wesley Brisbane Australia

A global effort to bring Ms Mohamed to Brisbane for surgery will culminate in a 10-hour operation on Saturday at The Wesley Hospital at Auchenflower.

Somaliland’s former first lady and former government minister Edna Adan Ismail travelled with Ms Mohamed for the surgery.

Mrs Ismail recalled the story of when she met Ms Mohammed as a teenager 11 years ago.

“I have a small hospital (Edna Adan Hospital) which I started to build when I retired from the United Nations,” Mrs Ismail said.

“A year after the hospital opened, a mother comes to me with a teenage daughter.

“The mother said, ‘Edna can you help? Can you do anything for my daughter’?

“I said I would like to help but we cannot and we don’t have the facilities and expertise but I promise you I will do everything I can to find a solution.”

Mrs Ismail embarked on a global mission to find a solution.

After hearing Ayan’s plight, High-Rise and Mitchelton Rotary Clubs met in March 2012 to form a strategy to bring her to Brisbane — the first time the two Rotary Clubs had worked on such a project.

An American supporter for the Edna Adan Hospital had pledged to provide Ms Mohamed’s airfare to any country where surgery could be performed.

The two clubs knew of no specific humanitarian program under which Ms Mohamed would qualify so they pledged to raise funds and seek support to bring her to Brisbane.

Rotary High-Rise Club member and oral and maxillofacial surgeon at the Wesley Dr John Arvier will perform the surgery on Saturday.

Dr John Arvier discusses what is involved with the surgery using a 3D model at the press conference.Source: News Corp Australia

“The initial maxillofacial stage of the surgery will replace missing bone, skin and soft tissue bulk in Ms Mohamed’s face, as well as correcting significant dental deformities,” Dr Arvier said.

“The first stage will involve affixing custom made implants to remake the rim of the eye socket, the upper part of the cheek bone and the missing portion of the top jaw.

“To address the significant facial asymmetry as a result of deviation of the jaw bone to one side, the chin point will be laterally repositioned to align more closely with the centre of her face.

Noela Phillips representing High-Rise and Mitchelton Rotary Clubs and beneficiary Ayaan

“The second stage of plastic surgery involves a composite graft — of skin and of cartilage- to reconstruct the missing nostril wall and provide a skin coverage to the temporalis muscle replacing the bulk of the nose and face.”

Mrs Ismail translated for Ms Mohamed who said she was “happy and looking forward to it (surgery).”

“The hardest thing has always been when somebody asks what happened to your face. It just hurts me,” Ms Mohamed said.

The experience in Australia has already had many moments of high spirit.

“She rode on an elevator for the first time and we had few lessons to learn how to ride the escalator.”

Ms Mohamed has a two-year-old daughter Marwa who remained in Somaliland with her grandmother.

Abdi Elmi

Somaliland Community Of Australia(NSW)

P O BOX 466 Auburn NSW 2144