A girl from Haiti has undergone a major transformation that saved her life, all thanks to the organization Operation Smile.
Hennglise Dorival, 12, had a swollen face that continued to swell. According to a Fox News article on Tuesday, she was diagnosed with an ameloblastoma – a rare, noncancerous tumor that often develops in the jaw near the molars. Despite being benign, these tumors can spread, moving tissue and cutting off pathways to vital organs. Hennglise’s tumor had expanded into her teeth, deviating her nose to the right and elevating her right eye.
Larry O’Reilly, from O’Reilly Autoparts, was visiting Haiti and met the girl. He pushed to have Dorival examined and treated. Doctors said Dorival needed extensive surgery.
Through an organization called the Community Coalition for Haiti, O’Reilly arranged for U.S. surgeons to travel to Haiti to do reconstructive surgery on Dorival. Doctors removed the facial tumor, but knew there was a chance that they hadn’t gotten all of it.
When O'Reilly came back to visit two years later the girl’s tumor had regrown to its full size – and was getting bigger. The fibrous mass swelled to an enormous size, taking up the entire left side of her face, while stretching out her cheek and her upper and lower lips. Eventually, the tumor grew so big it expanded into her left eye socket, pushing her eyeball outward and disrupting her vision.
O’Reilly met Dr. William Magee through the international health organization Project H.O.P.E. and Operation Smile.
The girl was flown to the U.S., and on April 28, 2014, Magee and his staff operated on Dorival for 12 hours, completely removing the ameloblastoma and reconstructing her face.
Dorival and her mother will remain in the United States for another six months as Dorival receives follow-up care. Magee said he is confident that he removed the entire tumor during surgery and that Dorival will never have to deal with such a condition ever again in her life.