KOREATOWN (CBSLA.com) — A 2-year-old girl from Panama, who underwent surgery at a local hospital in Los Angeles, is on the road to recovery.
Ana Paula, who arrived to the Southland in June, 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 could not be treated in her home country.
On Friday, with only one leg able to function on its own, doctors performed surgery on the second leg to prepare it for a prosthetic. They then removed the third leg.
Her team says it was a success.
“Those kinds of smiles are priceless,” Dr. John Lorant, her plastic surgeon, said. “I think she’s got a great temperament. We always assessed that and she’s certainly a tiger.”
But Paula’s challenge is not over.
She is expected to remain in the hospital for at least six months as her pelvis needs to be repaired. She will also have to learn to take her first steps.
But through the efforts of the hospital and the non-profit, Children of War Foundation, her family has not had to pay for medical costs.
“I see these kids when they first come and I see the, not the hurt, but the indifference in them. At the end of their treatments, they’re completely different kids,” said Amel Najjar of the Children of War Foundation.