Michele, a mother of two, joins The Doctors to recount the harrowing details of the day her fairytale romance turned violent.
“He was my knight in shining armor until the day he scarred me for life,” she explains.
Michele claims that two weeks ago, her ex asked her to get in his car so they could talk. When she got into the vehicle, Michele says her ex immediately locked the doors and proceeded to punch her several times in the face and head. Then, as she bent her head toward her lap, she felt his teeth on her face. Michele says she passed out at that point, and when she came to, there was blood everywhere. When she asked him what happened, she says he calmly told her he had bitten off her nose.
“He told me, ‘I have to kill you so no one knows I did this. I have to kill you,’” she recalls. Then he wrapped his hands around her throat and squeezed.
She says that as her ex slowly strangled her, she thought only of her two sons and her desire to be alive to raise them. She managed to unlock and open the car door and make her escape.
“It was gut-wrenching to actually feel that I didn’t have a nose,” she says.
Her attacker was arrested and charged with domestic violence, a minor charge in their state, South Carolina. The charge was subsequently upgraded to attempted murder. He is currently in jail and awaiting trial.
The Doctors send Michele to plastic surgeons Dr. Andrew Ordon and Dr. Ritu Chopra to see if anything can be done to repair the damage to her face:
The surgeons explain that Michele’s case is particularly difficult, and any corrective surgery would be intensive and intricate. Michele would need skin and cartilage grafts to reconstruct the sinuses, nostril and tip of the nose. Dr. Chopra suggests they use a live graft of skin from her forehead, which would require careful attention.
Onstage, Dr. Chopra shows how Michele would look after reconstructive surgery, and the two surgeons graciously offer to perform the necessary procedures for her free of charge.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship and needs help, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).