I can’t help it! I need to give my review of the latest batch of programs on TLC, The Learning Channel.
On Sunday night, they had: FACE EATING TUMOR, 750-POUND MAN, and WOMAN WITH HALF A BODY.
As you can imagine, the FACE EATING TUMOR was difficult to watch, especially since it was focused on a little 5-year old boy from a poor family. The facial tumors are benign and caused by a rare congenital disorder called fibrous dysplasia, which stem from abnormal bone growth. Basically something in his teeth kept growing and growing creating numerous massive tumors that stretched his face to the limit. The show was heroic in the way they documented the removal of each tumor. The doctors moved at a slow and steady pace and were as careful as possible. Since the tumors destroyed most of his facial bone structure, they actually kept part of the tumors in tact and used them to reshape his face. The results were dramatic, as was his homecoming to his family. The surgery was successful and this little boy was on his way to having a normal life. Then he got an infection in his heart and he died. AAAH!
BFORE AND AFTER
Next comes the 750-pound man. He was bedridden and the show documents his transfer to a nursing home where he hopes to lose enough weight to be able to at least be in a wheelchair. I was all geared up for an uplifting story of overcoming life’s obstacles and watching this man’s life change within the course of a 30-minute program. About half way through the show, his life did change in a big way: HE DIED! AAAHH!!
The 3rd program about the Women with Half a Body was the most inspirational. It was about this kick-ass woman named Rosemarie. She was born with a rare genetic condition that meant her legs were deformed and without sensation. Rose had her legs amputated as a young child and was also missing part of her lower vertibrae, so she did appear to be cut exactly in half. She walked with her hands and would use a skateboard to get around faster. She even drove a huge truck using hand controls. She was very cool with an awesome outlook and loved doing mechanical work on cars.
Her husband was a bit of a goof ball, saying things like: “Well, at least she couldn’t get cold feet when were got married”, and “Good thing I am not a leg man”. The highlight of the program was when she got pregnant and miraculaously carried it to term, giving birth to a healthy baby boy.
Then her Mom died of Lung Cancer. This was the devasting part. Her Mom was the center of the family and suddenly Rose’s support system was gone. She needed to move back home with her son and husband to take care of her father, who was suffering from Emphysma, Alzheimers with the onset of Dymensia AND schizophrenia. She also needed to take care of her 29-year-old brother Jimmy, who has a mental age of eight and is prone to violent outbursts. "My mom didn't give up on me, and that's what she taught me," says Rose firmly. "So I don't give up on them."
And then she died. JUST KIDDING! It ended with her trying for a second pregnancy.