Egyptian girl with rare facial cleft gets care in LA

October 24, 2011 12:40:59 PM PDT
A little Egyptian girl born with two mouths is recovering from surgery in Los Angeles.

Doctors in Egypt said 15-month-old Rokaya Mohamed wouldn't survive because she couldn't eat. But the little girl thrived on a liquid diet and a group of charities stepped in to bring her to the United States.

Her surgeon's parents founded Operation Smile 30 years ago.

"We are doing it through partnerships like Operation Smile, like Mending Kids International. This child would never have had the opportunity to have this kind of care if not for those incredible partners," said Dr. William Magee of Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

The goal of the first operation was to peel away the soft tissue and fix the foundation of Rokaya's face. It's the first of many surgeries she'll need throughout her life.

Rokaya's parents hope that the doctors will learn from their daughter's rare case.

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