Mum’s nightmare waking with jaw ‘clamped shut’

It was just the beginning.

A South Australian mum had to suffer through three separate jaw replacement surgeries after waking one day in 2013 in excruciating pain, unable to open her mouth.

I woke up one day and couldn’t open my mouth, physically couldn’t open it, and was in so much pain,’ Tamara Minge told

After her dentist referred her to a specialist Tamara learned she had degenerative arthritis on the right side of her jaw, caused by a displaced disc.

But it wasn’t long until the left side began to give her grief too.

‘There was this horrible crunching noise and pain,’ she says. Surgery on the left side of her jaw was needed as well.

But her nightmare wasn’t over.

Tamara soon broke out in an angry allergic reaction, which they discovered was from the nickel used in her initial jaw replacement.

Devastatingly, Tamara had warned the surgeon of her allergy and had been told the initial hardware was made of titanium. This wasn’t true.

As a result of this Tam now has to go through this painful nightmare for a third time, not to mention the debt that comes with it, if allergy testing had have been done before the surgery then all of this could have been avoided.,’ writes her friend Kristyn Norton, on the GoFundMe page set up to help Tamara cover the costs of her surgeries.

And the surgery is not without its own dangers.

‘There’s a risk my face could be paralysed, so I couldn’t blink or raise an eyebrow,’ says Tamara.

The ordeal has had an undeniable impact on the young mum’s life.

‘I see people my age going on holidays, buying houses, cars. All my savings, work, just goes on my jaw,’ she says.

Sharing her story on her Instagram she adds: ‘I know it will all be worth it in the long run.’

This article first published on New Idea.

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