3-year-old Melyssa Delgado Braga is a happy little girl from São Paulo, Brazil.
But sadly, she was born with a serious disability which made her life very difficult right from the start.
Luckily, she had parents who made the decision to do everything they could to give their child the chance to live a healthy and normal life.
But that would have never been possible without the help of few strangers with hearts of gold.
Not long after she was born, a tumor was discovered on Melyssa’s Chin, The Daily Express reports,
Even though it was benign, the tumor eventually led to several health problems. It continued to grow and by the time little Melyssa was 3 years old, she could no longer eat or talk properly.
The massive outgrowth had become so big that it had started to affect her blood stream.
As a result, little Melyssa started becoming so weak that she was constantly tired and could barely gather the strength to move or play with her younger brother.
With time, her immune system was also being affected by this horrific condition.
Melysa’s parents, 21-year-old Carol and 25-year-old Papa Manasses, were in a state of desperation. There seemed to be no one who could give their little girl the medical help she needed.
Good healthcare in Brazil can be a tricky to find and can vary based on where you live and what you can afford.
State driven hospitals are often crowded, understaffed and getting an appointment with a doctor is difficult.
Carol and Manasse were growing more impatient and frustrated with hospitals and couldn’t stand to just wait and watch their little girl suffer from the horrific tumor. They were overwhelmed with a feeing of guilt because they were unable to provide a better life for Melyssa.
The parents decided to take matters into their own hands and began researching online. The couple started a website where they shared their daughter’s story.
Their goal was to try and win over people’s hearts and raise enough money to be able to treat Melyssa in the United States. Their dedication and persistent struggle would soon pay off.
The Brazilian doctor Celso Palmieri happened to stumble upon Melysa’s story and called her parents one day.
The doctor was touched by the family’s story and their unfortunate destiny. He and his colleague Dr. Ghali are responsible for facial surgeries and specialize in helping children.
Surgeon Ghali works at the Shreveport Hospital in Louisiana and offered to help the family. The doctors flew the whole family to the United States for the treatment.
The medical procedures would be long and painful — everyone agreed that Melyssa would need her family by her side during those difficult and long hours.
And that’s not all.
Willis-Knighton Health System, a non-profit health care organisation agreed to pay all costs, both travel expenses and the full cost of the treatment.
Melyssa’s parents couldn’t believe it all.
“We were desperate to save our daughter’s life,” the mother told The Daily Express. “Surgeons in Brazil told us our Melyssa was going to die because the treatment they wanted to give her would be too much for her weakened immune system.”
But soon Melyssa’s suffering would end. When the doctors examined the 3-year-old girl for the first time, they were shocked to see how big and difficult the tumor was. It had begun to attack Melyssa’s jaws and teeth. It had become a parasite that was penetrating itself into the little girl’s body.
The operation would be significantly more difficult than the doctors had expected — there was a chance that it would be unsuccessful.
And so arrived the big day of the surgery.
Her family was sitting nervously in the waiting room. The clock was ticking and for every minute that passed, Melyssa’s chances of survival were at stake.
But then finally — after 8 long hours, the operation was done. The doctors managed to remove an impressive 5 pounds of tumor tissue and everything had worked out smoothly.
Melyssa would be able to start a new chapter in her life and as she woke up, she could hardly believe what she saw in the mirror.
The surgery had left a pretty big scar on Melyssa’s cheek but regardless of that, she had never looked more like a healthy girl!
And she sure felt better than ever before too — this was the best day of both her and her family’s life.
Just a few weeks later, Melyssa was able to eat on her own for the first time.
Although there is still a long way left until Melyssa is fully recovered, her situation is way better than it used to be.
In the next 10 years she will need to attend regular medical visits to make sure the tumor doesn’t return.
It’s going to costs a lot of money but nonprofit organizations have said they will help the family all the way until she is perfectly healthy.
Melyssa sure is one brave little girl.
Thanks to her family and experienced physicians, it has been possible to fight the horrible tumor that once threatened her life.
It’s amazing what can happen when we get together and help one another.
Melyssa and her family can now live a happy and healthy life — this makes my heart warm up.
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