Ellie Jones always felt different, but her parents didn’t know that there was a problem with their daughter’s face aside from her misaligned teeth. When she turned 14, they took her to begin the process of being fitted for braces. Her orthodontist realized that something wasn’t quite right…and her x-rays confirmed it: Ellie’s jaw had stopped growing when she was 8 years old. He teamed up with a maxillofacial surgeon to do what they could in order to help Ellie’s jaw take on a more natural shape. The process would take 6 years, but after intensive planning and consultations, Ellie was able to begin her first operation at 16. She knew that it would be a painful process, but she also knew that it would be better for her in the end.For an entire month, she was on a liquid diet. She was unable to use her jaw at all while it began to heal, and she couldn’t move it to communicate. She used a pen and notepad to speak with others. Her mouth was swollen and painful, but she bravely stuck with the process. Her mother encouraged her. What’s one year of pain compared to the rest of your life? Ellie stuck with it. Even 6 months after the first operation, Elile could see the changes in her own face.
I was shy but now I feel really confident. It changed my whole life.”
Now, she dreams of becoming a photographer in order to take pictures of the special moments in other people’s life. She knows what it is like to have your dreams come true, and wants to document that moment for a living.