Alfred is the father of my good friend Sam. I have photographed him for an upcoming exhibition for Semi-permanent where prints will be for sale, with a portion of the profits going to Alfred's charity of choice. I am very honored that he let me take his photo and this is his story as written by himself and his daughter Sam.
Alfred Sultana's smoking habit started at age 15 (1951).
This habit continued to grow as a handsome "Donkey Greaser", whilst in the Merchant Navy (working down below) on the ammunition ship The Retainer in 1957-1958.
He also attended to the Oil Furnace in the Engine Room on the ships The Queen Elizabeth, & the New Australia.
In 1959, Alfred worked as a Bus Conductor in Plymouth England where smoking was permitted on the top deck.
Alfred believes that passive smoking strongly contributed to his ill health today and as he quit smoking almost 50 years prior to his first diagnosis.
Alfred's first bout of mouth, jaw & tongue cancer was removed on Sept 1st 2003.
The process of his surgery was:
*Removal of ALL lower teeth
*Removal of fibula,vein removal & skin graft from his right leg
*Incision from lower lip to ear via throat.
*Calf removal to create a flap in his mouth, in place of his gum
*Fibular bone created his new jaw with pins
*Partial removal of his tongue
12 hours 10 Surgeons
Radiation therapy has caused Alfred not to grow facial hair & produce saliva. It has killed off many of his taste buds on what remains of his tongue.
Alfred has had to learn how to walk, talk & eat (new diet) again...
Seven Years later the same Cancer returned.
Alfreds second bout of mouth, jaw & tongue cancer was removed on 21st June 2010,
The same process was undertaken, however the left leg was used & the incision was from ear to ear across his throat.
More of Alfred's tongue was removed. Even though complications occurred post surgery, Alfred is learning to walk, talk & eat once again & remains optimistic about life.