DANNIELLA Westbrook says she doesn't care what anyone thinks about her infamous collapsed nose, insisting: "I'm lucky to be alive".
The 48-year-old suffered a high profile battle with drugs ten years after joining EastEnders aged 16.
The cocaine abuse caused her septum — which separates the nostrils — to rot and eventually collapse.
Told by doctors the habit would kill her, she got clean, but always maintains her recovery is “hour by hour”.
She's set to undergo five demanding surgeries to fix her face after waiting seven years to find surgeons brave enough to take it on.
"My nose is notorious," Danniella told The Sun in an exclusive interview.
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"But if that's all I've got to live with for the rest of my life but I'm still alive then so be it.
"A lot of people aren't here today with addiction. I'm lucky to be alive. It was my own fault.
"It's a part of my journey and a part of who I am."
But Danniella confesses she fears she could die on the operating table – and prays "let me wake up" every time she's put under.
The 48-year-old is no stranger to plastic surgery, but says the older she gets the more she worries about the risks.
"A lot of people aren't here today with addiction. I'm lucky to be alive."
She's set to undergo a total of five surgeries at Liverpool's Aintree Hospital to help rebuild her face.
Her bones started “rotting away,” due to osteoporosis and historic cocaine abuse.
"When I was younger I used to love plastic surgery," she continued.
"I had my boobs done six times and thought I was invincible.
"But now every time I go under anaesthetic I'm praying 'please let me wake up'.
"When you get older you see the risks for what they are.
"I know I'm in good hands so I want to be in the best shape I can be before I go in."
Danniella's bracing herself for the big op to remove her rib and put in her face to save her collapsing checkbone.
Fans thought she'd already had the operation after being spotted out with a bandage over her nose.
But she's been having skin removed for biopsies to check if she can have the surgery.
She also has to have a lot of dental work done before her main nose job.
The mum-of-two is having to split up her surgeries because otherwise she'll be under anaesthetic for too long.
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And despite some cruel trolling online, Danniella insists she's not transforming her face to improve her image.
Instead she hopes to celebrate finally being able to breathe properly – something that her nose has caused trouble with for years.
"I've never really been one for vanity to be honest, you are talking to the Queen of chavs here," she laughed.
"I've always worked and been in a make-up chair, but I'm not the best with that.
"When I'm not working I just throw my hair up and put my trackies on and go out.
"I can't bear sitting in a beautician's chair – it bores the life out of me.
"I've spent the last seven years trying to get someone to fix my face.
"They kept refusing or wanting to charge me £500,000.
"Before Christmas I couldn't breathe because I had a cold. There was a build up of fluid and after I fell asleep I couldn't wake up properly and ended up in ICU.
"That's why I'm doing this. I need this surgery to survive. It's not for vanity, this is about my health. It harbours my lifestyle on a day to day basis.
"Now I'm having the best care in the country with the best surgeons.
"All I'm focused on, first and foremost, is my children and my health."
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