Great grandmother calls her facelift results a ‘dream come true’

Great grandmother, 80, who risked her life to have a £10k face-lift says the results are a ‘dream come true’ – and is already saving to go under the knife again

  • Toni Goldenberg, 80, from south London saved for five years to have a facelift
  • Had always dreamed of having surgery, and saved for procedure in ‘piggy bank’ 
  • She told doctors ‘at least I’ll look good in my coffin’ when warned of the risks 
  • Great grandmother is now saving for another surgery to correct her ‘baggy eyes’ 
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A great-grandmother who risked her life for a facelift is so pleased with the results she’s saving to go under the knife again.

Toni Goldenberg, 80, from south London, became one of the oldest people in the country to have a lower face lift, ridding her of a dreaded ‘turkey neck’ and making her look years younger.

The 80-year-old said it was like a dream come true when she looked in the mirror for the first time after the her three-and-a-half hour procedure and saw ‘the old woman had gone.’

She began saving her pension five years ago for the £10,000 procedure and has already began putting money away in her giant Coca Cola bottle for an upper face lift.

But after the surgery Toni was overjoyed with the results, and says she feels like herself for the first time in years

Toni, from Wallington in south London, said: ‘I feet absolutely fantastic. It’s like a dream come true.

‘The old woman has gone and I hope she doesn’t come back.

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‘When I look in the mirror, I thought I looked like a completely different person. But now I just see me and I forget what I looked like before.’

‘My neck and jowls made me look cross and miserable but now I look fresh and happy.

Toni felt her neck and jowels made her look cross and miserable (pictured before her facelift surgery) 

‘Nan’s face lift fund’: Toni Goldenberg shows off the results of her facelift, which she says has transformed her confidence 

‘You could not ask for anything better, especially at my age.’

Doctors warned Toni could be left partially paralysed or even die from surgery and that the risks of general anaesthetic were much greater at her age.

But she was determined to fulfil her long-held dream and told doctors ‘at least I would look good in my coffin.’

She said: ‘I was told that I could die or that half of my face could be paralysed but I was willing to take that chance at my age. 

Toni, pictured here after the surgery, was blown away by the results, and is now saving up for an ‘upper face’ lift 

Toni’s doctor Mr Hagen Schumacher warned her that she could die during the procedure, but she wasn’t worried about it, saying:’At least I would look good in my coffin’ 

‘There is no use worrying if you are going to die – you go out onto the street and get run over or die at any moment.

‘I understood the risks but I told the doctor ‘at least I would look good in my coffin.”

Toni, who was widowed 46 years ago, underwent extensive tests to evaluate her suitability for surgery and assessed her medical history, general health and level fitness.

She also faced a risk of poor wound healing and even tissue necrosis – where skin cells break down and die. 

Toni’s confidence was impacted when she felt her face no longer matched her size 10 body, and she was particularly upset about her jowels and neck 

The 80 year old underwent extensive tests to evaluate her suitability for surgery, with doctors assessing her medical history, general health and level fitness

 Toni said: ‘I was not really that nervous before the operation.

‘When they put me on the operating table, I started to think about it all but then the anaesthetist said he was going to give me some drugs.

‘I didn’t have time to think or worry it and the next thing I remember was waking up in bed after the op.

‘Everybody at Harley Street was fantastic, I couldn’t recommend them enough..’ 

Toni, pictured immediately after the surgery, has said her confidence has been transformed by the procedure 

She had been saving up for the operation for five years, and finally underwent the operation in February

Toni went under the knife at the world renowned Harley Street Skin Clinic on February 15.

While she insisted she is ‘too old for romance’ Toni’s new fresh look has done wonders for her confidence and she is set to start yoga and gym classes.

She said: ‘I am too old to get back in the dating game but I would consider going out for a nice meal with somebody and sharing a man’s company.

‘I feel much more confident and plan to go to the gym every day except for Tuesdays when I look after my great-granddaughter.’ 

Toni wanted the facelift for years, having dreamt of aging like her own mother (pictured), who she said did not have any wrinkes when she died aged 84  

Toni, who has two great-grandchildren, saved for the £10,000 op by putting all her loose change in a giant Coca-Cola bottle.

She filled her ‘face lift fund’ with spare pennies from her pension before starting again with pound coins and again with only £5 notes.

Toni is now saving for a £6,000 upper face lift which she expects to have before the age of 85.

She said: ‘I am already using my Coca Cola bottle – I was saving for some new clothes but I will have to go to the charity shop for them now. 

Toni used an old Coca Cola bottle to store the pennies to help her save up for another facelift, as she worries about her eyes 

‘I look in the mirror now and I see the baggy eyes so I’m saving up again to have the area around my eyes and forehead lifted – that will be another few years.

‘My friends said it’s the best thing I’ve ever done and they have already chipped in towards my next face lift.’

Six weeks on from surgery, the Harley Street team are impressed by Toni’s ‘extraordinary’ and speedy recovery.

Lesley Reynolds, co-founder of Harley Street Skin Clinic, said: ‘Toni surprised us all by her swift recovery from the surgery which is a testament to her tremendous energy and force of life. 

Toni, who has been widowed for 46 years, said that she would now consider going out for a nice meal with somebody and sharing a man’s company

Harley Street have been impressed by how swift Toni’s recovery has been, calling it a testament to her energy 

‘Her general health is such that she bounced back very quickly after the operation – her bruising and swelling were minimal.

‘This is in part due to the skills of our surgeon Mr Hagen Schumacher and the anaesthetist, but also perhaps down to Toni’s general health.

‘Usually people of Toni’s age have some sort of health issues that would increase the risk of a general anaesthetic to the point of it not being advisable to have cosmetic surgery.’

Surgeon Mr Schumacher told Toni that the results will continue to improve over the next year. 

Toni as a young woman in the 1960s – she had long dreamed of having cosmetic surgery, but spent years saving up for the procedure 

Toni said: ‘After the surgery, I had a bit of swelling for a few days but no pain at all – it was brilliant.

‘It will take a year for it to be completely healed so it will just keep getting better.

‘The surgeon was really, really good and I would recommend him to anybody.’

The great-grandmother began dreaming of having cosmetic surgery in her 20s when she noticed wrinkles appearing on her face. 

Toni and her son Giles in the early 1980s. She worked hard to maintain a size 10 figure, but as she got older felt her wrinkles were impacting her confidence 

She has always worked hard to maintain a size ten and had hoped she would take after her mother, who had ‘barely any wrinkles’ before she died aged 84.

But as she grew older, Toni felt her face no longer matched her body.

She said: ‘I expected my skin would age in the same way as my mum but it didn’t.

‘I had wanted it done for decades and decades – I would read about it in the papers and I did a lot of research.’ 

Toni with with her son Giles, left and grandchildren Kelly and Christopher at Christmas in the 1980s 

Toni said the facelift had ‘transformed’ her confidence, as it appeared natural. She can’t wait for the rest of her face to match

She added: ‘People won’t tell you if they’ve had a face lift – they don’t talk about it but I think people should.

‘It has made an awful lot of difference to my confidence and I feel a lot better about myself – I don’t even wear make up.

‘I’m so pleased with it – it looks natural rather than having that drawn, wind-swept look.

‘I can’t wait to have the area around my eyes and brows lifted to match.’ 

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