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Stefan has a ball after major operation
LIFE is good for a Bosnian teenager who recently underwent a major operation thanks to the help of generous Echo readers.
Stefan Savic, 15, was born with a facial deformity and more than £100,000 has been raised to get him the face he longed for.
And now the youngster is living life to full after he recently attended his school prom with his girlfriend Katrina.
Former soldier Wayne Ingram from Portland sparked the appeal when he met the youngster in the Balkans 10 years ago.
In May, Stefan was flown to London to undergo a fourth operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
It marked the final transformation of Stefan’s face, after he was born with a block of bone in the centre of his face which pushed his eyes far apart.
Proud Mr Ingram said the pictures of Stefan attending the prom were ‘fantastic.’ He added: “I honestly do not think this would have been possible without the help I’ve had in raising the funds over the last ten years, and the support I received from the vast majority of local people.
“You have all helped in giving this young boy the chance in life that everyone deserves.”
A cheque worth £5,163, which was the remaining total left in the Stefan Savic Appeal, was presented to Julia’s House last month.
Mr Ingram told the Echo in May: “Stefan is like a son to me and we want to thank all the Echo readers and Dorset residents who helped to make this possible.”
Mr Ingram said: “Stefan was born with a facial cleft that meant his eyes were nearly two inches further apart than they should have been and he had no real nose.
“He already looks completely different.
“The British Army don’t just go into an area with guns and bullets, we think of cultural and religious beliefs and get to know communities.
“The area of patrol I was given led to me meeting Stefan’s father who was paid just €180 a week – nowhere near enough to pay for the operation.”
Stefan’s fourth operation was to reconstruct his nose and help his breathing and Mr Ingram said the treatment could not have been carried out in his home country.
Over the past ten years, funds raised have paid for Stefan’s reconstruction treatment and flights to and from the UK.