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As part of my JDC work at the Catholic Mission here, Tsehai came to us early this year. She is a 21 year old from Southern Ethiopia who had an enormous jaw tumor the size of a bowling ball, (an ameloblastoma), growing for several years. In August, I brought her to Munich for surgical treatment. She had a new jaw constructed from her fibula (lower leg), and subsequent plastic surgery. She returned to us this week, and will return back to Germany in April for more plastic surgery. See before-and-after pictures below.
We have joked that she now has a new name: We’ve dubbed her “Addis Hiwot,” (actually a typical girl’s name here), which means “New life.”
We are all extremely grateful for the generosity of the people of Munich who funded her surgery after an article in the Munich newspaper, for Dr. Peter Cornelius and his amazing surgical team at Ludwig Maximilian University, and the help of the Bavarian Dental Association. Peter gets my nomination for Nobel Prize for facial surgery. Hildegard Cornelius befriended Tsehai, and helped her transition into a new culture, language, and food and played a key role in her success.
Tsehai is now looking forward to returning to school as soon as she can.
Photos and story used with permission of Tsehai.
Rick Hodes, MD, MACP
Click to enlarge.
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