Linda Hershey lost her nose to squamous cell cancer in 2007. She chose nose reconstruction surgery at Johns Hopkins, the beginning of a years-long journey marked by medical and emotional challenges. This four-part series explores Hershey's long campaign to have her nose rebuilt. Watch a video introduction to the series. Warning: Series contains graphic content.
PART 1: Linda Hershey lost her nose to cancer in 2007. She chose reconstruction surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the beginning of a long journey to have her nose rebuilt.
PART 2: Hershey's reconstruction surgeries were performed by Dr. Patrick J. Byrne, who used pieces of her forearm, ribs, ears, forehead and skull to create a new nose.
PART 3: While undergoing surgeries, Hershey continued to work at Lancaster Regional Medical Center, but in the months of physical suffering and psychological adjustment, she slipped into depression.
PART 4: Since nose reconstruction began, Hershey has experienced chronic pain and other setbacks - including the return of cancer. Still, in a journey marked by hope and despair, she doesn't expect a "problem-free life."


Baltimore Sun photographer Algerina Perna first met Linda Hershey in May 2008 when she was assigned to photograph and videotape her at Johns Hopkins Hospital for a story about nose reconstruction. Perna has followed her for five years and wrote this series to describe Linda's personal journey through the many challenging surgeries and unexpected setbacks.

Perna has been a photojournalist for the Baltimore Sun since 1988. She has a Master of Arts degree in communication specializing in photojournalism from Ohio University in 1993. Her email address is