Brazilian Toddler Survives Operation After Parents Asked Help On Facebook; 5-Pound Facial Tumor Threatened To Suffocate 3-Year-Old

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald January 27, 04:20 am
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A photo showing Melyssa Delgado Braga before and after the surgery. The girl is 3-years-old and her facial tumor weighed five pounds.
(Photo : ZOVA Drive/YouTube)

The parents of a 3-year-old Brazilian girl took to Facebook to ask for help regarding the removal of the facial tumor below her jaw. A team of doctors from the United States saw the viral Facebook post and offered to remove the five-pound tumor that threatened to suffocate her.

The child was identified as Melyssa Delgado Braga of Sao Paolo, Brazil. The rare and aggressive benign tumor is called myxoma and it ate away the jaw of the child causing her tongue to be displaced.

She also suffered from difficulties in eating and breathing, CBS 6 news reported. In the before photos of Braga, the tumor's length almost touched her chest.

The doctor who initially wanted to help the family is Dr. Celso Palmieri Jr., who is a Sao Paolo native himself. He is working as an assistant professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Louisiana State University.

Upon seeing the post of Braga's parents, he contacted Dr. D.E. Ghali, who in turn did not hesitate to help the girl. Dr. Ghali noted in an interview it was heartbreaking to see Braga the first time as she could not hold her head up due to the tumor being so huge.

People reported the family saved up for a trip to the United States but did not have money to pay for the operation. Willis-Knighton Health System President James K. Elrod also extended help and agreed to provide housing for the family while they stayed in the country for the surgery.  A medical team also agreed to donate their effort for the procedure.

The operation was on December 20 and it lasted for eight hours. The girl's jaw, mouth, and tongue had to be reconstructed.

The child will, however, still undergo more reconstructive surgery. The other surgeries will be made before she turns 10.

The family of the girl is said to be grateful to everyone who donated their time, effort, and resources to remove the tumor of their daughter. The first time they saw Braga without the tumor made them burst into tears.

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