Acts of Kindness
Surgeon provides free life-changing nose surgery to his house painter
It changed everything for him.
Megan Bennett

Even before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the worldwide phenomenon of people wearing face masks while out in public, there was one man who wore them every day anyway.

Conrado Ramos Estrada had been wearing masks for a long time before the pandemic hit.

He used them to cover up his facial deformity caused by a condition called rhinophyma.

Rhinophyma had caused Conrado’s nose to grow so large that it hung down to his lips and would get in the way of him eating.

Rhinophyma is a skin disorder caused by severe, untreated rosacea.

It led to Conrado’s nose becoming swollen, bulbous, and painful; it was also a “smoldering infection”.

As well as the physical side effects of the disorder, Conrado’s mental health was taking a hit as well, “They would stare at me. Children would ask their mothers what happened to me.”

One day, Conrado’s work as a house painter led him into the path of a man who would change his life forever.

Conrado and his team of painters showed up to the house of the Director of Facial Plastic Reconstruction at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

Dr. Thomas Romo knew as soon as he saw Conrado and his nose that he would help the man, and help him he did.

The Doctor decided to help Conrado pro bono.

He pulled Conrado aside and asked him if he would like to receive free facial reconstruction surgery to bring his nose back down to a more normal size.

The pair quickly worked on getting paperwork signed and a surgery date picked out, and soon enough the day came for Conrado to say goodbye to his big old nose.

Dr. Romo had done many pro bono surgeries before, but mainly for children through his Little Baby Face Foundation.

This was one of his first for an adult, and the first time he had seen rhinophyma in about 20 years.

The Doctor was just happy to help and wanted to be a part of improving this man’s quality of life.

“You’d think he won an Olympic gold!” the Doctor said of Conrado’s ‘after’ pictures.

“Chest is out, face’s out, he’s a smiley guy. I feel great for him.” Dr. Romo continued.

As for Conrado’s feelings, “I believe God sent an angel to take care of me – that’s how I see Dr. Romo.”

“I’m doing everything I can to help my community. I want this community to flourish.” said the Doctor when asked why he helped Conrado free of charge.

Dr. Romo also believes that, “Confidence makes a better and more productive person in society.”

He obviously saw a hard working man who was doing the best he could and had been dealt a bad hand when his nose became infected, he just wanted to help.

Conrado is surely very thankful of where his work took him on the fateful day the two men met.

Check out the doctor’s Facebook page for more before and after images.

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