KOREATOWN (CBSLA.com) — A 2-year-old girl from Panama is in Los Angeles for a life-changing operation.
Ana Paula, who arrived in the city Sunday, was born a conjoined twin and underwent an operation 20 days later, which killed her twin and left her with a third leg and acute medical complications that cannot be treated in her home country.
A medical team at Shriners Hospitals for Children Los Angeles, including Chief of Staff Kit Song, came up with a surgical and treatment plan for Ana Paula on Tuesday.
Song said Ana Paula’s left leg is functional, but the other two are not. He said her middle leg will be removed and her right leg will most likely be amputated at the knee or above.
“The knee is not functional in that leg and the foot is not functional, so I think the lower portion of that limb would almost certainly be removed,” Song said.
In collaboration with the nonprofit organization Children of War Foundation, all of Ana Paula’s surgical and medical services will be provided by two of the Shriners Hospitals for Children facilities in Los Angeles and Northern California.
“Well, my hope is that she will be fine and she will do well with her health … and she will also be able to walk,” Ana Paula’s mother, Ileana Monrroy, said through a translator.
CBS2’s Greg Mills reports that prosthetics, either at the knee or the right leg, will be key to Ana Paula being able to walk at some point.
“I think she’ll be very functional as a walker, at the very least with crutches or with the arm crutches or something similar,” Dr. Phoebe Scott-Wyard said.
Ana Paula will have her first surgery in a month.
“I think we can execute this very well. It’s the thinking process behind the plan that’s going to take some time,” Song said.