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An Incredible Will to Survive - Elephant Man

Here at theMET, we've teamed up with the people over at National Geographic and had the privilege of screening this emotional documentary last week. It's a story of tragedy and hardship, but most importantly, hope. Known as "China's Elephant Man," Huang Chuncai suffers from an extreme condition that has grotesquely deformed his face. Exceptionally large tumors have stunted his growth, left his bones undeveloped, caused his spine to buckle and restricted his breathing -- a life-crippling condition that has prevented Huang from leaving his small village. Huang's only chance of survival lies in a radical operation, but to have the surgery he must leave his home for only the third time in his life and brave the outside world. NGC tells Chuncai's emotional and heartbreaking story with exclusive access to his family, his doctor and the risky surgery he undergoes. You can catch it on the National Geographic channel on Sunday, June 7 at 9PM ET/PT. Video: A man with a 50 pound tumor on his face arrives at the hospital with his sister to undergo life-changing surgery. Video: China's "elephant man" is in surgery to remove part of his 50-pound tumor -- but the procedure may kill him.
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  • oh wow stephanie--thanks for sharing your story. i'm glad to hear you're okay now.

    "elephant man" was a little hard to watch, but absolutely inspiring. all he wants is to get to a point where he can work and help support his family--totally broke my heart. this documentary is a must see.
  • I feel so sad for that man, beleive me or not but a few years ago when I was living with the minimum government income (often felt weak!) and particularly that afternoon.Went to have a nap on my sofa, had flu and pain in the forehead.Woke up with part of the face swelled.Put some ice cubes, went twice to the chemist.On the second time , he was as scared as I was , I couldn't open the eye, a good third of my face had swelled, he sent me to the emergency service but I had to take the bus so I went to my brilliant doctor who took me in straight away.I learned then about this disease from I recovered with more or less a week antibiotics.
    I know that 2 institutes have been opened in the US where they have found two different bacteria. resulting from an insect bite ? sting?.The incubation period can last 4 up to 6 years then infection spreads quickly.
    For the one I had without antibiotics it could have hardenned and stayed still;
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