Thirty seven years ago, back when he was 14 years old, a bloody tumor appeared on Jose Mestre's lip. Because of his religion (Jose is a Jehovah's Witness) prohibition on blood transfusion and distrust of doctors, Jose refused to undergo surgery to remove the growths - until now.
Unsuccessful and unhappy visits to Germany and Spain in search of medical care in his youth have left him with a distrust of doctors. This, combined with his loyalty to his mother's faith, and concerns about life without the mask to which he has become accustomed, appear to have instilled Jose with a sullen fatalism about his condition.
His inertia has infuriated his close family, who do not share Jose's religious beliefs. Jose himself, although a Jehovah's Witness, does not attend any church.
During the consultation with Dr Hutchison in London, Jose's sister Guida reacted with exasperation her brother's initial reluctance to discuss the offer of a transfusion-free operation.
"Die alone, not with me. For me, finished," she cried, in dramatic footage to be broadcast for the first time this week. Guida shoulders much of the burden for caring for Jose.
Note: Dr. Hutchison, a maxillofacial surgeon, also runs Saving Faces charity, which focuses on facial reconstructions and surgeries.