A 3-year-old girl who lived her life with a rare five-pound tumor on her face has had it successfully removed by doctors in a life-saving operation.
Melyssa Delgado Braga was diagnosed with myxoma, a rare type of tumor. Doctors believe is the biggest ever recorded at a whopping 5lbs, describing it as “almost like another head attached to her jaw.”
The tumor had displaced Melyssa’s tongue so much that she was unable to eat and swallow, and she was close to being malnourished. Surgeons in Brazil warned that the dangerous surgery could kill Melyssa due to her weakened immune system from lack of food.
But, after Melyssa’s condition hit headlines, medics at Louisiana State University in the US donated their services for free and, in an 8-hour procedure, were able to successfully remove the growth.
“We were desperate to save our daughter’s life,” said Melyssa’s mom Carol, “We were told her only chance of survival was by seeking help in the US.”
Now, Melyssa can eat, talk, and laugh for the first time in her life.
Melyssa’s tumor had eaten away the bone in her jaw and she was just months away from being suffocated due to the tumor compressing her throat, so doctors rebuilt her jaw using metal and now she can eat properly and breathe unaided.
“Now we have hope,” says Melyssa’s father, “We can’t believe how generous doctors in the US and the charity have been. We are so grateful for everything that has been done for our daughter.”