Neissa Azor is an 8 year old girl from Haiti. She was 3 years old during the 2010 Haitian earthquake, and it was after that disaster that her mother, Fernande, noticed a little bump that had grown on the right side of her daughter’s face. The bump kept growing, and it eventually became so large, it protruded out of her mouth, displacing her upper teeth and palate, and blocking her airway.
A kind surgical technician happened to spot Neissa and her mother one day while she was going to work. She asked Fernande if she wanted help getting treatment for her daughter. She said yes. The stranger contacted many doctors she knew, and eventually found a board chairman at Baptist Hospital in Miami, FL who was willing to help.
A team of doctors, including Oral Surgeons, made models to understand how to remove the tumor and engineered Neissa’s treatment plan.
This past September Neissa received a 2 part surgery that removed the tumor, reconstructed her face, and saved her life, all for free.
“It took a medical team about 12 hours to saw and chisel the tumor away, reconstruct her jaw out of rib bone and skin from the leg, and close up the incisions. Seventeen Baptist doctors were involved with her care, along with nurses and many others.” Christina Veiga, Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article39313206.html#storylink=cpy
After Neissa was given time to heal from the surgery she was presented during a press conference. She said, “Thank you! God Bless you!”, and Her mother said that Neissa is going to be a maxillofacial surgeon one day, so that she can give back.
I think this story is amazing. Not only am I awed by what modern surgery can do, I am also inspired by the giving spirit of everyone who helped this victorious event take place.
All photos here were taken from the Miami Herald’s article page.