The Resurrection of Amalia Mendoza

The Resurrection of Amalia Mendoza

After a car accident demolishes her face, a Columbian woman goes to Florida for a facial prosthetic that helps her rebuild her life. (Naples Daily News)

Amalia Mendoza’s face was literally peeled off of her head in a terrible car accident. She lost both eyes, her nose and sections of her skull. She was in a coma for 8 months and doctors said it was a miracle she survived at all.

For seven years after the accident, Mendoza was withdrawn and depressed at her home in Valledupar, Columbia. Her anxiety and suicidal thoughts drove her daughter, Rocio Villa, to seek some kind of solution. Online she discovered a medical practice in Naples, FL, boasting of one of the world’s best anaplastologists. The group did pro bono work and would help Villa’s mother if she would bring her to Florida.

This in-depth project by the Naples Daily News follows Mendoza’s story from the beginning of her treatment in Naples through surgeries, the eventual sculpting of a prosthetic face and a final, happy homecoming in Columbia.

The video includes interviews with Mendoza, her children and the doctors who combined science and artistic skill to recreate a woman’s face and help her reclaim her identity.

CHANNEL: Naple Daily News

Length: 13:00

Produced by Greg Kahn