Myanmar girl thanks Taiwan for facial reconstruction

A girl from Myanmar expressed her gratitude Wednesday after facial reconstruction surgery by a Taiwanese medical team.

Nine-year-old Mi Tho, who arrived in Taiwan Feb. 27 to receive the procedure at Taipei's Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, will return home Thursday.

On the eve of her departure, the girl presented surgeon Lo Lun-jou and nurse Chou Su-yeh pictures she had drawn while recovering and said “thank you” in Mandarin in appreciation for their care and services.

According to the hospital, Mi Tho was born with a cleft lip, a cleft palate, an exposed nasolacrimal sac and without a nose ridge. As a result, she had difficulty speaking properly.

Her condition came to the attention of the Global Hope Network International (GHNI) in 2008, when the humanitarian aid organization was operating a rescue mission in Myanmar in the wake of a hurricane.

With the help of GHNI, Mi Tho received cleft lip and palate treatment in her country in 2009 but failed to see significant improvement. She was later transferred to Chang Gung Hospital using funds from the World Craniofacial Foundation and Taiwan's Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation.

Lo said one person in 50,000 is born with a cleft lip and palate and at the same time without a nose ridge.

The most difficult part of the surgery was reconstructing the girl's nose ridge, which involved removing a fragment of her sixth right rib for implantation into her face, Lo said.

Published: April 7th, 2010
By Chen Shun-hsieh and Y.F. Low, Central News Agency, cited by China Post

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