Melyssa Delgado Braga of Sao Paulo is actually currently recovering through the eight-hour surgery, conducted in December.
Little Melyssa’s journey to the United States began when Dr. Celso Palmieri Jr., assistant professor of oral in addition to maxillofacial surgery at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, read a post on a Brazilian news site while reviewing publications through his home country. The child’s family was seeking help to get their daughter to the United States for treatment.
“As I was reading more about her story, I realized our department could probably help her, in addition to particularly Dr. Ghali in addition to his department. I’ve seen him helping people so many times, so I took a screenshot of the child, in addition to I texted of which to him,” Palmieri said of his colleague, Dr. G.E. Ghali.
After an hour searching social media, he was able to get in contact with the parents, who speak only Portuguese.
Ghali, chairman of LSU Health, said he believed he could help Melyssa. although before reaching out to the family, he wanted to ensure a safe in addition to affordable stay within the United States.
He turned to Shreveport’s Willis-Knighton Health System, a nonprofit health care organization having a history of hosting international patients in addition to rare surgeries. Officials there agreed to provide the family with housing in addition to underwrite the cost of the hospital stay.
A month later, Melyssa arrived within the United States for surgery. Ghali diagnosed her having a myxoma, a very rare in addition to aggressive tumor.
“This kind of is actually typically a benign tumor, non-cancerous, although of which’s very locally aggressive,” he explained. “This kind of tumor has pretty much eaten away her entire jaw through one side to the additional in addition to has displaced her tongue. (She’s) genuinely unable to eat pretty well. She was on her way to be a pretty malnourished child.”
Lisa Babin, LSU Health’s director of public affairs, said the cause of myoxma is actually unknown.
“Myxomas are more common in females than in males. Approximately 10% of myxomas are thought to be genetic (passed down through families). These are called familial myxomas in addition to are more likely to be numerous in addition to occur in younger patients,” she explained.
Without the surgery, Babin said, Melyssa could have needed a feeding tube in addition to was about a month away through her breathing being blocked. “Patients generally die a slow, progressive death through the combination of malnourishment in addition to blocked airways.”
Ghali, who along with the additional surgeons donated his services, said at a recent news conference of which of which the girl’s breathing was bad in addition to of which the tumor was pushing her tongue to the back of her throat.
“The girl’s mother asked if I could be able to reconstruct the tongue, because over the past few years, her tongue had been obliterated by the tumor,” he said.
While she recovers in Louisiana, Melyssa regained full use of her tongue.
“When we were able to remove This kind of tumor, the tumor weighed over 5 pounds on a child of which probably doesn’t weigh more than 25 pounds herself, total weight,” Ghali said.
“I am grateful for everything the doctors here have been able to do for my daughter in addition to in only a short month,” the girl’s father said.