Dr. Matthew Malamet: How a plastic surgeon saved a wedding

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In late August, 25-year-old Jessica Friend’s typical morning commute turned terrifying in an instant.

“A deer came crashing through my windshield,” she said. “But I didn’t hit a deer,” she said recalling the moment nearly six months later.

A car traveling the opposite direction struck the deer, sending it flying through Friend’s windshield.

Covered in shattered glass, she was taken to Meritus Medical Center for treatment. Her care team at Meritus quickly noticed that the impact of the deer broke the tiny, fragile bones around her eye.

“They called it an orbital floor blowout,” she said. “The bones under my eye socket were completely shattered.”

An orbital floor blowout is a type of fracture typically caused by blunt-force trauma. The eye socket protects the eyeball, so that in the event of a blow, the eyeball is undamaged. However, the force of the blow can transmit through the eye socket and shatter the tiny bones around and under the eye.

Thankful to be alive, the worry of reality started to kick into high gear.

“My wedding! My wedding was just about a month away,” she said. “I was determined there would be no change of plans, because I had been planning this day for two years,” Friend added.

The next day, Friend met Dr. Matthew Malamet. A plastic surgeon with Meritus Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery, Dr. Malamet specializes in reconstructive plastic surgery following trauma.

“I always strive to help my patients return to themselves. When I heard about Jessica’s wedding date, I was determined to help her feel like herself on this important day in her life,” Dr. Malamet said.

Dr. Malamet surgically repaired the injury, which involved the insertion of a titanium plate to reconstruct the orbital floor. This experience meant the bride would look like her beautiful self in no time.

On October 1, she walked down the aisle, looking like herself and smiling.

“There was some bruising in between, but considering what I went through, I was fine. I even went to a friend’s wedding in between the surgery and my wedding,” she said.

Thankful that in the end everything turned out alright, Friend explained that Dr. Malamet’s kind and caring nature made her comfortable right from the start, as he explained to her how he was going to ‘put the pieces back together.’

“He made sure that the surgery didn’t change the structure of my face,” she said. “I’m grateful to be myself again. However, this entire experience has made me realize just how quickly life can change.”

Meritus Medical Center is a state-designated Level III Trauma Center, and plastic surgeons like Dr. Malamet, play a vital role in the health system. There are a wide variety of services, some that might be surprising, that cosmetic and plastic surgeons can offer. Find more details at