After 11 hours of surgery in Brisbane, Somali war victim Ayaan Mohamed has a new face and a new life.
Ayaan Mohamed is just happy she won’t frighten people any more.
The 25-year-old Somali has hidden herself under a veil ever since she was shot in the face the early 90s.
Her injuries were so severe she was missing a cheek and parts of her ear and nose, she couldn’t close an eye and her face had grown lopsided.
But after 11 hours of surgery in Brisbane’s Wesley Hospital on Saturday, Ms Mohamed has a new face.
Former Somaliland foreign minister and First Lady Edna Adnan Ishmail, who has accompanied Ms Mohamed for the journey, says she’s recovering well.
“She doesn’t have a veil anymore, she has bandages, she has dressings, but she has a beautiful face,” Ms Ishmail told reporters on Tuesday.
“She’s not going to scare anybody anymore.”
Uniting Care and Rotary helped fund the surgery and it’s believed Ms Mohamed will be ready to go home within two weeks.
“We’re grateful to the world, it’s been hands across the world that have brought Ayaan where she is today,” Ms Ishmail said.
Dr John Arvier, who led the mammoth operation, was modest.
“It’s what we do,” he said.
Ms Ishmail said Ms Mohamed now wants to be a doctor when she returns to Somaliland.
“To have a girl who had to drop out of school because of a disfigurement to want to become a doctor, to help other people, I think it shows how much she is looking forward to her life, the ambition she has.”
Ms Mohamed was initially denied a medical visa last year but, following a petition from 40,000 people, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison approved a second visa.