Dudley was a 46-year-old bank manager when he suffered a shotgun injury to his face, which fragmented his lower jaw, destroyed his nose, his upper jaw, his palate, the base of the skull, part of the brain and made him blind. This happened in 1998.
He immediately underwent emergency surgery to save his life, including the insertion of a breathing tube (tracheostomy), the closure of his facial wounds and the sealing of his skull base from the nasal cavity and mouth so that no brain fluid leaked down into this area and no communication remained between the brain and the nose and mouth. He then underwent a second operation in which all the remaining fragments of his lower jaw were replaced and fixed with metal titanium plates.
In 2000, the holes in his face at the top of his nose, the nasal bones themselves and the upper jaw and palate were reconstructed using bone from the shoulder blade and skin from his back. This flap of bone skin and fat was kept alive by joining the artery and vein supplying it to branches of the carotid artery and jugular vein in the patient’s neck.
Prior to this injury, Dudley enjoyed all sports especially cricket and skiing. He remains in excellent spirits despite his blindness.
Since his last operation he is now able to eat, drink and speak more easily because he no longer has a hole in his palate connecting his mouth with his face and he is enjoying his food for the first time since the injury.
He lives with his wife, Elizabeth, and they now run a property business.