Editor's note: About a week after surgery, Emanuel Zayas died after experiencing lung and kidney failure. You can read more here. About three years ago, Emanuel Zayas developed a pimple on the left side of his nose.
When Marlie Casseus arrived in Miami in December, the growth had stretched her facial features so far apart that only her eyes, nostrils and a single tooth were recognizable. Though her lower lip now hangs open, causing her to drool slightly, the year-old smiled broadly and shimmied at reporters and television cameras. Without music, she stood on her own, held up her arms and shook them and her hips back and forth.
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MIAMI — The 3-year-old in the photograph had her mother's nose, big brown eyes and two baby teeth showing in her wide smile. But by the time Marlie Casseus was 14, what she saw in the mirror bore no resemblance to the girl in the picture — or any girl. Whatever was under Marlie's skin looked like a basketball, or two eggplants.
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During the nearly six-hour surgery Thursday, doctors replaced a titanium plate previously implanted in her jaw. Once she recovers, she will learn to swallow and speak again — functions that were halted by a pound tumor-like growth that engulfed her face. In three surgeries in the past year, doctors removed the growth, narrowed the separation between her eyes and lips and rebuilt the interior of her nose and jaw.
Makeshift tents dot a hillside there, flimsy shelters made of sheets and coconut branches that are a respite from the sun, but no match for the recent torrent of rains that wash down rotting bodies from a nearby slope. At night, the lights from aid camps and surrounding areas do not reach here. It is pitch black.
Eleven years ago, a Haitian girl underwent major surgery as South Florida doctors removed a massive tumor from her face. On Wednesday, she returned to Jackson Memorial Hospital to show her gratitude to her medical team. Speaking through a translator, Casseus couldn't contain her gratitude. It's been a decade since doctors at JMH removed a pound tumor from her face.
Marlie Mychele Casseus born July 7, is a Haitian woman who attracted national and international media attention when she received surgery to remove a 7-kg pound growth from her face that threatened her ability to eat, hear, breathe and see. Casseus suffers from polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a genetic condition in which the bone structure is replaced by connective tissue. This condition affects more than one bone in the body, impairs skeletal growth and development, and can cause deformity.
A couple of years ago, year-old Emmanuel Zayas had a pimple pop up on his face—just as many other teenagers going through puberty do. But, his turned out to be something much more serious. It never went away and in just a few short months it grew to be the size of a basketball, the Miami Herald reports. Fortunately, the tumor is benign; however, it still causes Zayas to suffer from daily complications.