Two years ago we brought you the heartrending story of a 22-year old man who was hideously scarred for life after falling face first into a fire at the age of 7. After a series of poorly done and unsuccessful surgeries, it appeared that nothing more could be done for him and that he was doomed to being treated as an outcast, unable to work at a meaningful job, or enjoy even the smallest social pleasures of life.
Pribaz, a reconstructive surgeon, described by one colleague as a brilliant man and a great teacher. Dr. Pribaz believed that he could help Avi regain a more normal appearance and he undertook the work pro bono at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation paid for the hospital costs during the surgical procedures.
But plastic surgery can go only so far, especially when the reconstruction involves serious burn injuries. This is when a specialty known as maxillofacial prosthetics takes over. Enter Matt Singer, a former Hollywood special-effects artist who gained fame making actors into scary-looking characters for films like Bicentennial Man, Species II and Star Trek. When Singer decided to change his career focus to repairing damaged faces, he went into it with unabridged enthusiasm.
He moved to Memphis, apprenticed with an accomplished ocularist and taught at Memphis College of Art to pay for his studies. Combining his artistic talent and his acquired skill in prosthetics, he founded Silicone Ocular, LLC and his new career was underway.
Matt Singer’s work with Avi is nothing short of a masterpiece. This young man, who at first had a cynical outlook after enduring so much pain and suffering, is now a changed man. Avi has a girlfriend and a job he likes. Although he will require some minor surgery for refinement of his scars, he faces the world today with an entirely new attitude.