Maricela Benite has left the doctor’s office one too many times without any answers. Her baby girl, Sandy Diaz, has left doctors baffled and perplexed.
The little girl has a giant mass on the side of her right cheek that is nearly as big as her head. The tumor isn’t cancerous, fortunately, but still needs to be removed for normal development.
After nonsurgical interventions continued to fail, two surgeons decided to step in. Dr. Teresa O. and Dr. Milton Waner of Northwell Health Lenox Hill Hospital are providing the surgery free of charge. They believe no child in Sandy’s condition should be turned away.
“We’re helping a child live and look normal,” Waner said. “I don’t think there’s a bigger gift.”
The new technology didn’t even exist 20 years ago, but they’ve had success with other extreme cases like Sandy’s. The process will be tough, taking five hours to remove 90 percent of the tumor, but they believe it is well within reach.
“Anatomically, everything is distorted,” Waner said. “The nerves are not in the right place.”
Benite and her husband, Herry, are grateful to the surgeons and can’t wait to bring Sandy home to her siblings who are loving and protective of her.
“The day has arrived where God willing, she’s going to be able to, you know, get rid of this,” Benite said.
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