Jose Mestre and sister Guida Above: Jose Mestre and his sister Guida in London. Pictures below show Jose aged 14 when the tumor was still small, and as he is now.


A victim of horrific facial disfigurement - known as "the man with no face" - has been given new hope by the advancement of medical science.

Jose Mestre, from Lisbon, Portugal, has been losing his face to a huge growth for the past 35 years, distorting it out of all recognition - and it's still growing.

The tumor on 51-year-old Jose's face is a collection of blood vessels that have expanded, producing a raised red area on the skin.

Jose was born with a strawberry-coloured birthmark on his upper lip. At puberty it began growing, eventually smothering his lips, nose and one of his eyes. Now it is 33cm long and weighs 3kg.

But Jose's religious faith - as a Jehovah's Witness he refuses to accept a blood transfusion - has prevented him from having surgery to remove the growth.

Jose's rare condition was the subject of a Discovery Channel TV documentary 'The Man With No Face', part of the 'My Shocking Story' series.

It reveals how top medical experts in London have now held out hope of helping Jose, a well-known figure around the streets of Lisbon.

A leading British surgeon has offered to treat Jose using ultrasound waves to coagulate the blood before the operation.

This should remove the risk of heavy bleeding - satisfying his religious beliefs about blood transfusions in the process.

Dr Iain Hutchison, of St Bartholomew's in London, is confident an operation with a harmonic scalpel could make him look a lot more normal.

Discovery Channel said: "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 travels by train, via Paris, to Britain, to meet the top experts in London. He goes through a series of tests, consultations, and meets other patients with a similar affliction. In London he also spends time with his sister Guida and the rest of his family, enjoys being a tourist in London, while making the biggest decision of his life.

Jose's dream is to live a long and normal life. Following the showing of the Discovery documentary he continues to adhere to his 'no blood transfusion' religious principles. But he has agreed to go back to the London hospital in 2008, when doctors hope to carry out specialist surgery to begin removing parts of his tumor, without the need for blood transfusions.


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Date: 8 Feb 2008 | Author: mesmerX | Category: Pictures | Views: 52396

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Comments: 37

smile I think you made a great decision. Do not worry about what everyone else thinks just stay true to yourself (JeHova esta contigo)

we call people like him true christians and its very hard to fined especially in our days. 2tim 3:1-5

what on earth is wrong with these jehovahs witness why on earth would they refuse a human being possibly life saving surgery for what? an estranged religous beliefs jesus healed people on the sabbath ,allowed his deciples to eat on the sabbath and i bet that all twelve of them would not have and these guys are they even christians?

the religion believe is one of the reasons his family brought about, but i think the main reason for not having a surgery or treatment was the financial instability. iam sure the family would have made him agree to a blood transfusion if they had the money to afford his treatment!!!!...just think about it! its a lie for publicity..

fucking ass religious believes causing someone unnecessary pain and suffering oh wait this was all in "test by god"

crying poor man i hope he gets better from joshua

OMG!!!! My grandparents an I were watching this and i was in tears!cryingmy mother didn't belive me so i emaild this page to her.Gosh Jose i send all my wishes to you!smileSend the company a letter to put that on again.I want my family to see.I am glad that you handle your self properly and are not giving up.smileI hope that gets removed and you can have a new begining as well.Best wishes!wink -Ami

oooh man this on TLC right now and it makes me so sad to see how he is suffering. I cant watch because it makes me sad, but at the same time I cant change the channel. I wonder how he is doing now? I hope he gets treatement. It would be good for him health wise. I mean he can't breathe and can barely talk. it makes me upsetcrying i hate to see people suffer and i hate that everyone just stares at him. god bless him and his family. i could not imagine how they must all feel...

never will i look at my pimple the same way i used to sad

poor poor jose. i feel deply sad for him. please go through the surgery. i want you to live.crying

cryingcryingcryingthank god i'm healthy
i will never take my face for granted again

With all this publicity, why have not doctors who specialize in bloodless surgery been consulted. I have read of entire hospitals in the US who have adopted the policy of Bloodless Surgery because blood transfusions are outdated and created a whole lot of other problems.

this is when religious fanatics get ridiculous. because of something based on passed down stories, you refuse to get a blood transusion and put your health and family through such pain? if a religios jevoah witness really cared about him, maybe they could make some sort of religous exception that won't make him feel guilty in getting the blood transfusion. this is when religion/cult becomes ridiculous and when people allow themselves to be sucked into it, they put their health and life at risk. i feel bad for his condition but it's his fault he let it get this bad. he had a choice to take care of it but let himself be brainwashed by his faith that he's put his life on the line.

I will pray for him that their is a surgeon that can help him and a psyhiatrist that can stated to heal his emotional wounds!
He needs prayers and not stares....

oy, that's his little sister, not his wife, i saw his special on tv, last night as a matter of fact...

It is his decision,if he does not want help does not have to take. Now you see how wrong religion
can be. sincerely

wow what a great wife to have in this superficial world

Aww what a shame!
I wouldn't like to be in his shoes. It makes me realise how lucky I am to be healthy.
God bless him!

Family Guy

Rebecca Semrad
Theres no need to judge him or to automatically blame hom for what he has been taught to believe! You can't sit there and tell him taht what he believes is a cult or judge, when as Christians we are taught just the opposite. When it can easily be said to you as well. I just can't believe that if this was happening to him as a young boy, how could his parents not get him the medical attention that he needed, its very sad that this has happened and expanded because of plain ignorance. I hope he can get the help he needs, but I agree he is going about it all the wrong way, and should just get a blood transfusion out of his own blood and to it all at once, instead of in little bits, which will only cost more in the end.

Will someone tell him that jehovah witness is a cult so he is beleaving in nothing tell him to read the king james bible he will find the true god it says to take from the bible or add to it is blasfamy of god so jehovahs or bond for hell.Because they change the BIBLE suit there beleafs it is a scam.I pray god will help him see the true bible and he will HAVE THE SUGURY TO FIX HIS FACE.Tell me Joses why would your god let you die if you needed some blood to live no true god would do that if your niese needed blood and it was your choise if she got it would you set there and let her die or tell them to give her some blood think about that my friend god doesnt kill Joses he gives life

I cannot believe anyone would let something like that get to this point before considering doing anything about it. In the superficial world we live in with models popping up on the t.v. screen constantly, and people judging one another's looks constantly, how could someone leave their house like that? It's horrible that this man's life was ruined if something could have been done sooner. He has never had the enjoyment in life that so many of us are afforded. I hope he gets over this ridiculous religious blood transfusion soon, and gets some relief.

my heart goes out to the family. many of you dont understand the religious beliefs of jose but its not up to us to judge him only jehova will. i admire jose for staying firm and strong on his decision to refuse blood tranfusions due to his faith. we shouldnt judge him rather respect what he requested. and i know now a days their's other safe procedures that can be done as alternate ways to prevent the use of blood tranfusions. all we have to do is wait and hope he gets treated appropiately by dr.s and other options be explore...

Reality Check
I would think that this man's tumor is a ticking time bomb, considering risk of hemorrhage, the problem of infection if not kept clean, the problems that could be caused if the tumor and area around it isn't kept dry.

OMG OMG OMG I CANT BLEVE IT!!! wassatwassat

I watched the doc on tv last night - and truly hope Jose takes up the offer of surgery here in the UK. Sadly Jose has left it far too late to do anything but reduce the growth now - but at least life may be easier. As is written above, I wonder why Jose does not build up a bank of his own blood....therefore no issue with a transfusion - or is it the transfusion itself that is not acceptable by JW?

oh wow crying thats so sad.

Reality Check!
FYI, this is a legitimate medical case, a real situation. This is also an example of religion taken to such an extreme as to be detrimental and harmful.

There are ways to donate blood in advance, if a person is facing a surgery where blood may need to be transfused. Thus, it is possible to have your OWN blood transfused to yourself during surgery if needed.

Info on hemangioma
This is an accurate easy-to-understand article on hemangioma, the type of tumor this guy has.

I would think that this man's tumor is a ticking time bomb, considering risk of hemorrhage, the problem of infection if not kept clean, the problems that could be caused if the tumor and area around it isn't kept dry.

Now that this individual has access to expert medical care, he should be wise enough to accept that care. There are many other people in the world with problems just as severe who probably would be grateful to have gotten the attention of willingly helpful medical experts!

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What an amazing person
The bravery of this man and his family should serve as an inspiration to us all. My heart goes out to them, as do my best wishes and hope for a brighter future where Jose can see and breathe freely.

People I ask, who do you know, could face such a challenging condition and have the courage to leave their home.. for this alone Jose Mestre is truly beautiful. I personally know no one with such courage and I am humbled.

that was one of the most stupid things i've ever read xD
how can you be so dumb xD
Sagres is a portuguese beer xD one of the top beers in the world having won a series of worldwide prizes xD
That sign is publicity to the beer and it is in the Benfica (S.L.B.) stadium at Lisboa
And in Portugal you speak portuguese -.-

Still Laughning
Sign of god laughing

wassat That sign behind him is one letter off from BLOOD in Spanish. (Sangres). Maybe it is a sign from God to have the bloody (no pun intended) operation.

whoa? yea man, like, how does he eat? and brush his teeth? and clean his face? oh wait, he has no face... LOL LOL joking dont take it seriously.

OMG thats so sad. I hope you can see!!! sadcrying I hope you get better!!! smile claire

how does he eat:S

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