Woman Thanks Jackson Memorial Hospital Doctors Who Removed 16 Pound Tumor 11 Years Ago

On Dec. 14, 2005, a team of doctors performed a 16-hour procedure to remove a 16-pound growth from then 14-year-old Marlie Casseus' face

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.

"Thank you. Thank you doctors," Marlie Casseus said.

Speaking through a translator, Casseus couldn't contain her gratitude. It's been a decade since doctors at JMH removed a 16-pound tumor from her face.

"I'm happy to be here in Miami after so many surgeries and I'm happy to be with you today in such a big way," said Gina Eugene, Casseus' nurse.

Because of a rare genetic disorder, Casseus underwent a 16-hour surgery in 2005. She was 14 and it was the first of many procedures at JMH that have helped her to eat, see, breathe and speak.

Casseus and more than 100 Haitian nurses walked around JMH to show their appreciation for the doctors and nurses who treated her. She even got emotional.

"I cry because I'm so happy that I'm overwhelmed," Casseus said through a translator. "I'm happy because I see again this hospital that saved my life. All doctors, all nurses, that contribute to give me a second chance."

All of Casseus' surgeries were made possible through the International Kids Fund.

"Seeing Marlie today was just an amazing day. Seeing the transformation over the years. She's come a long way with several treatments and surgeries that she has received," said Niurka Del Valle, Senior Director of Jackson Health Foundation International Kids Fund.

The now 23-year-old is healthy and strong living in Haiti, and she has some big goals for her future.

"I would love to learn photography because I love to take pictures," she said.

Casseus said she can't thank the doctors enough and will be forever grateful to them.

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