Girl Comes to Miami for Treatment of Facial Growth

Adiah Despot will need three or four surgeries to remove the growth, doctors say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two-year-old Adiah Despot has come to UM Jackson for the surgeries she needs to remove a growth on the bottom of her face. Seth Thaller, the chief of plastic surgery at the University of Miami, and mother Stacy Despot talk about her condition. (Published Thursday, Sep 20, 2012)

    It's hard to see 2-year-old Adiah Despot's smile. The growth on the bottom of her face is called a hemangioma.

    "It's an overgrowth of basically the blood vessels in her lip and her chin," said Seth Thaller, Chief of Plastic Surgery at University of Miami.

    If the growth becomes ulcerated and starts to bleed there is a chance of a life-threatening bleed, Thaller said.

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    When Adiah was born she didn't have any growths on her face, but a week later Stacy Despot noticed what she thought was a bug bite.

    "Actually, it started with a little dot on the corner here it started to spread and after a while it started to swell, with the swelling the lip cracked, got infected and the infection ate away the whole bottom lip," Despot said.

    Doctor's in her native Trinidad tried non-surgical treatments, which failed.

    Children don't want to play with her they're afraid of her, Despot said.

    Not able to get what she needs in Trinidad, the International Kids Fund brought her here to UM Jackson.

    "This is a really very difficult case because of where it's located. If it's excised and removed now she would have to undergo very extensive reconstructive surgery," said Thaller.

    So it will be removed in stages beginning with the growth under her chin and small part of her lip.

    Adiah's mother lives in fear it could rupture.

    "If it happens to burst I don' t know what  to do. It would just start bleeding and don't know how to stop the bleeding," she said. "She means everything to me. I'm a single mom. I'm a young mom and she gives me strength to go on with life."

    Doctors say Adiah will need at least three or four surgeries. The International Kids Fund is hoping to raise $85,000 to over the costs.

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