'Even my friends called me Jaws': Woman, 20, undergoes surgery to have severe underbite removed - and now feels beautiful for the first time in her life
- Leanne Woodfull, from Dublin, developed a severe underbite after she was fitted with braces as a child - by 13 her jaw protruded dramatically
- She was bullied and and became depressed about her appearance and would cover the lower half of her face to hide her facial 'deformity'
- She eventually underwent a five-hour operation to break both jaws and fit titanium plates to reshape her facial structure
- The procedure was successful and she feels more confident than ever and want to go into television presenting
A girl nicknamed 'Jaws' because of her severe underbite is embracing her life post-surgery.
Leanne Woodfull, 20, from Dublin, Ireland, was teased and tormented throughout her teenage years by cruel bullies who compared her to the James Bond villain because of her protruding jaw.
It was caused by a brace that was fitted when she was 11 but this year, shortly before her birthday, Leanne underwent life-changing surgery to fix what she perceived as a deformity.
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Leanne developed a severe underbite when she was fitted with 'train-track' style braces as a child. As her top teeth straightened out, they pushed back into her mouth, meeting edge to edge with her bottom set and causing her lower jaw to protrude
'My big jaw was ruining my life and I'm just so happy I can finally smile with confidence,' Leanne, from Dublin, said. 'When I look in the mirror I'm relieved to see the 'Jaws' girl I once knew has finally disappeared.'
Leanne noticed the change in her face when she was fitted with 'train-track' style braces as a child.
As her top teeth straightened out, they pushed back into her mouth, meeting edge to edge with her bottom set and causing her lower jaw to protrude outwards.
Leanne Woodfull (pictured post-procedure) underwent surgery to fix her severe underbite. Surgeons broke both her jaws and re-set them into a new position, inserting titaniums plates into her mouth. After five hours, her face was transformed
Leanne's chin jutted out dramatically (pictured from various angles before surgery) and as a result her school life turned into a nightmare. At the age of 13, bullies started comparing her to big- chinned Family Guy character James William Bottomtooth III
Her entire chin stuck out as a result and by the time she was 13, she said her school life had turned into a nightmare, with bullies also comparing toFamily Guy character James William Bottomtooth III.
Leanne (X-ray of her jaw before surgery) was eventually beaten up by cruel bullies because of her skull deformity
Leanne, a sales assistant, said: 'The kids would tease and say "Look there's a real life jaws".
'Even my own friends nicknamed me Jaws - I was the butt of everyone's jokes.
'Classmates would sneer 'bulldog' and one even sniggered that I looked like some guy from Family Guy.
'I didn't know who it was so I Googled it and was horrified. I felt like a gargoyle.
'One day, at school, I was cornered in the toilets by a girl who punched me the face just for the way I looked.'
She tried to disguise her jaw by wrapping her face up in a scarf, caking herself in make-up and styling her hair differently.
But Leanne still felt like she looked like a monster and would never be normal.
As the daily abuse took its toll, Leanne began to think she had a deformed face and would avoid having her picture taken and banned her mother, Violet, from putting up any pictures of her in the house.
She added: 'Between the ages of 12 and 18 it was like I didn't exist. No matter how much my family told me I was beautiful the way I was, they didn't have to live with it.
'They said I didn't have a deformed face. I was the odd one out and every day I was reminded of it.'
Leanne was desperate to have corrective surgery but was told by her orthodontist her body needed to stop growing before she could qualify.
Leanne was desperate for corrective surgery but her orthodontist said her body needed to stop growing before she could qualify. She was set to re-mortgage the house to pay for the procedure privately when in March this year, aged 19, Leanne got her wish and was granted double jaw surgery on the NHS
When Leanne (pictured in recovery) came around, the surgeon told her the operation had been successful, but that a nerve had been damaged and there was a risk that her bottom lip and some of her chin would remain numb forever. Luckily there have been no long-term problems
Within just five hours Leanne's face had been transformed. Leanne (pictured before surgery, left, and after, right) said: 'When the bandages came off for the first time it was emotional seeing my new face'
But as she got so depressed, she pleaded with her mother to do something because it was ruining her life.
Her family were set to remortgage the house to pay for it privately when in March this year, aged 19, Leanne got her wish and was granted double jaw surgery on the HSE (Health Service Executive, the Irish Health Service).
Leanne continued: 'It was ruining my life. [For me] it was a matter of life or death. I'd never wanted to grow up so quickly.
'I became severely depressed after seeing all the stunning models when I went to London Fashion Week last October.
'I practically hibernated for five months. If I had to go out in public then I would bury my face in a thick scarf to hide my protruding chin.'
Surgeons broke both her jaws and re-set them into the new position, inserting titaniums plates into her mouth and after five hours in surgery, her face was transformed.
Leanne (pictured after surgery) now feels far more confident about her face. She said: 'My friend said I looked beautiful and I actually felt like a beautiful for the first time in my life'
Leanne said that she is now comfortable in front of the camera and hopes to get into television presenting one day
'My big jaw was ruining my life and I'm just so happy I can finally smile with confidence,' Leanne, from Dublin, said. 'When I look in the mirror I'm relieved to see the 'Jaws' girl I once knew has finally disappeared.'[
When I came around, the surgeon told Leanne the operation had been successful, but said a nerve had been damaged and there was a risk that her bottom lip and some of her chin would remain numb forever.
'At first I was worried that meant I'd be a dribbling mess, but I was willing to deal with it if it meant having a normal face,' Leanne said.'When the bandages came off for the first time it was emotional seeing my new face.'
Luckily Leanne does not suffer any serious nerve-related problems and she said she feels more positive than ever about the future.
I'm now comfortable in front of the camera and am hoping to get into television presenting one day,' she said.
'My friend said I looked beautiful and I actually felt like a beautiful for the first time in my life.'