Taylor underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor when he was 5. The procedure removed the tumor but left him with a persistent itching sensation on his left nostril.
The little boy scratched his nose so much that the skin became infected and died, leaving a hole where his nostril used to be. At school, that facial difference sadly made him a target for bullying and mean-spirited jokes.
"I was bullied and teased about my nose ever since kindergarten," he says. "But over the years, I just learned to use that frustration as motivation." Taylor had to be finished growing before his nose could be repaired. When he turned 16, Taylor and his mother, Cheryl Cox, met with Dr. Alex Kane, division director of the Fogelson Plastic Surgery & Craniofacial Center at Children’s, to see if it was time yet.
"When Dr. Kane said, ‘I think he’s ready. Let’s do it,’ " Cheryl says, "it was one of the happiest days of my life."
Dr. Kane took skin from Taylor’s forehead and cartilage from the bowl of his ear to create a new nostril for Taylor. The process involved three different procedures performed over several months.
"I was blown away to see my new face after surgery," Taylor says. "I look normal again."