Brazilian parents pleaded for help getting a facial tumor removed from their three-year-old girl, Melyssa Braga. Their dreams finally came true when American doctors offered to assist the family.
When Dr. Celso Palmier happened upon the online article about Melissa, he was completely drawn to it. He recruited a few of his colleagues and helped cover housing, scheduling, travel, and the procedure itself.
Within a month of hearing Melyssa’s story, Palmier was setting the girl up for surgery with some of the most respected, talented doctors in the world.
Because the tumor took up a portion of her face, Melyssa appeared to have an unusually large chin. The procedure, which the family called a “Christmas present” and a “gift from God”, has completely changed the little girl’s life. Now she can enjoy feeling normal and socializing with her friends. Melyssa and her family will always remember December 20th, the day her surgery was performed.
At a news conference after the procedure, doctors mentioned the tumor was over 5 pounds. Because the little girl was so young, the tumor was huge in comparison to her body weight. After the 10-hour surgery, she is totally unrecognizable – in the best way! Although the procedure was deemed successful, her fight against the tumor is not entirely complete.
She will need other surgeries to maintain her appearance as she grows older. Her parents are forever grateful for the help a stranger provided to their precious girl. Her proud father mentioned that she loves being able to enjoy cake now!