Several years ago Edward Evans fell seriously ill when an infection began eating away at his sternum – the bone at the centre of the ribcage that protects the vital organs in the chest. Medication failed to eradicate the problem, so Edward had to undergo surgery to have the infected sternum and parts of his adjacent ribs removed.
At the time, it was impossible for the surgeons to do anything more than cover the resulting defect with Edward’s own muscle, because putting any foreign object into his chest when infection was rampant would almost certainly have resulted in that foreign material also becoming infected.
Edward recovered well from this surgery, but the absence of a solid sternum meant that his heart and lungs were extremely vulnerable, and his quality of life was limited. So doctors at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham arranged for Edward to undergo another operation to have a new sternum implanted.
By BBC (UK)
Image Credit: BBC (UK)