A man who experienced severe bullying throughout his life after being born with half of his face missing has revealed he no longer lets his condition hold him back and has tied the knot since improving his self-esteem.
Joseph Williams, 41, from Chicago
, was born with an extraordinarily rare condition called otofacial facial syndrome which left him without a jaw.
The welder said people have run away from him in fear but he hasn’t let his condition hold him back from anything in life.
Joseph, who doesn’t know the cause of the syndrome, communicates through sign language, gestures, writing notes and using his phone.
He eats by putting blended food through a tube into his stomach.
Joseph said: ‘Being born without a jaw came as a shock to my birth mother.
‘I was a twin but the other baby passed away before we were born.
‘When I was just a couple of days old, I was taken from Illinois, where I was born, to Chicago, for multiple surgeries.
‘I had a bone and skin graft as they tried to construct a jaw for me, but as I grew my body rejected it and it was unsuccessful.
‘And I was also put up for adoption which led to me meeting my adopted family.
‘Growing up was hard and being born like this has caused me many problems, but I have tried not to let it affect me.
‘I can’t eat, speak or even breathe properly.
‘I have a tube in my stomach which I can place blended food into, but this means that I have never tasted food.