Guatemalan Teen To Be Treated By Vandy Children’s Hospital
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A Guatemalan teenager's life is about to change thanks to some local volunteers with big hearts. After living with a facial deformity for 14 years, she now has a chance to get surgery at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.
Fourteen-year-old Angelica has never been on a plane before, but now she is in a foreign country surrounded by people working to improve her life. In addition to that, she was also surprised with a special birthday party full of fashion, ice cream and plenty of pink.
"Instead of just giving her a present, I wanted her to feel like a princess," said Faith Fallon, who organized the party.
For Angelica Morales it was also a chance to enjoy just being one of the girls. But, this newly crowned princess hasn't lived a fairy tale life a facial growth called a vascular malformation, has impacted her ability to eat and breathe.
"In Guatemala, she lives in a rural poor area and she doesn't have any opportunities like to be here," said Fallon.
The trip was made possible after members of a Franklin non-profit organization, the Shalom Foundation, met Angelica during a mission trip. After months of research and discussions with Angelica's family, Dr. Steven Goudy will perform the surgery to remove the facial growth at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.
"We are going to reduce the size of it and restore function and form to her face, so she can be like every other kid in Guatemala," said Dr. Steven Goudy, Angelica's surgeon.
Now thanks to her new friends Angelica heads into the operating room with a little extra support and the memories of a party and an experience that has already changed her life...and impacted those around her.
Angelica's surgery was scheduled for June 29, 2012. Doctors predict she will need at least 4 weeks to recover, and will continue to stay with a host family in Nashville during that time. They also say more follow up procedures may be necessary. Angelica's condition is very rare, however, it is not cancerous. The condition is most frequently treated with surgery.