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Young Girl From Haiti Gets Life-Saving Surgery In Florida

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- A young girl from Haiti with a tumor so big on her face was told she'd have to live that way for the rest of her life by doctors. But fortunately a group of skilled doctors from Baptist Health in Kendall we were willing to tackle the challenge and offer her a better quality of life.

Eight year old Neissa Azor has an advanced case of fibrous dysplasia. The young girl from Haiti had a tumor growing from her head, down the side of her face and out the front of her mouth.

It's the same condition you may recall another girl from Haiti Marlie Casseus had. Her story made headlines back in 2009. The condition causes bone tissue to grow uncontrollably.

When doctors at Baptist Health first saw Neissa, they were surprised by the size.

"We were also taken back that she could actually still breathe, and when I asked what she could eat, we learned she could still eat Peanut Butter sandwiches which was quite remarkable," said Dr. Joseph McCain of Baptist Health.

There were a number of concerns performing the first stage of the delicate surgery. Due to the size and location of the tumor, Neissa's airways were being restricted.

"The reason we went with a tracheotomy was that so we could have a secure tube into her wind pipe to facilitate the rest of her treatment," said Dr .Juan Sola,M.D, Neissa's anesthesiologist.

The tumor was affecting not just one, but multiple bones in her face.

Dr. Shawn MCclure had the delicate job of cutting the tumor out which he said surprisingly took him only an hour.

"It looks gruesome," he said pointing at pictures. "But we were able to take everything out in one shot."

There are still several steps to go in Neissa's delicate transformation. She still needs a prosthetic jaw, and new teeth, but the surgery to remove the tumor is complete.

Dr. MCain said it will take about two weeks to get the pathology report back that will reveal if the tumor is cancerous. If Neissa gets the all clear, she should get her prosthetic jaw and teeth within the next two weeks.


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