Mark Tatum was a man who suffered a rare and devastating fungal infection that cost him his eyes, nose, upper jaw, and most of his face. He died in 2005, five years after contracting the disease. His story is a reminder of the dangers of mold exposure and the importance of prevention and treatment.
What is Mucormycosis?
Mucormycosis is a serious and often fatal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes. These molds are commonly found in soil, decaying organic matter, and animal dung.
Mucormycosis can affect different parts of the body, such as the sinuses, lungs, brain, skin, and eyes.
Mucormycosis is a medical emergency that requires prompt diagnosis and
How Did Mark Tatum Get Mucormycosis?
Mark Tatum was a 44-year-old construction worker from Franklin, Kentucky, who lived with his wife, Nancy Tatum.
Soon after the exposure, Mark Tatum developed a sinus infection that did not respond to antibiotics. He also noticed a small bump on his nose that grew larger and more painful over time. He visited several doctors, but none of them could diagnose his condition
By the time he was correctly diagnosed with mucormycosis, it was too late. The infection had spread to his eyes, brain, and face, destroying his facial bones and tissues. He underwent multiple surgeries to remove the infected parts, but he lost his eyesight, sense of smell, and most of his facial features
How Did Mark Tatum Live With His Condition?
Mark Tatum was dubbed “the man without a face” by the media, as he became one of the few survivors of mucormycosis who lived with such a severe disfigurement. He endured constant pain, infections, and bleeding from his wound. He also faced social stigma, isolation, and depression
Despite his hardships, Mark Tatum tried to remain positive and hopeful. He received worldwide attention and sympathy from people who were moved by his story. He appeared on several TV shows, such as Maury and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, to share his experience and raise awareness about mucormycosis. He also received a prosthetic face, which was custom-made by a team of experts from the University of Louisville. The prosthetic face was attached to his skull with magnets and covered his wound with a realistic-looking skin, nose, and mouth.
How Did Mark Tatum Die?
Mark Tatum died on February 26, 2005, at the age of 48, at the Medco Center of Franklin, Kentucky. The cause of his death was not officially disclosed, but it was likely related to complications from his infection or his underlying health conditions.
Mark Tatum’s death was a tragic end to a courageous and inspiring life. He was a victim of a rare and deadly disease that could have been prevented or treated if detected early. His story is a warning to anyone who may be exposed to mold or other environmental hazards, and a testament to the power of love, faith, and resilience.