Little Girl Gets Gift of a Lifetime - NBC New York

Little Girl Gets Gift of a Lifetime

Peruvian girl travels to NYC for surgery



    A Peruvian girl has lifesaving surgery courtesy of a team of doctors and nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital. All travel and medical care was arranged through the non-profit group VOSH-New York. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010)

    A Peruvian girl has gotten the gift of a lifetime.

    Four-year-old Yhoalibeth Xiomena Abanto was born with plesiform neurofibromatosis, a life-threatening tumor that rapidly grew behind her right eye.

    Thanks to doctors traveling on a humanitarian mission to the outskirts of Lima, Peru, she was properly diagnosed with the condition this past March.

    The group of ophthalmologists and optometrists were part of a New York based organization VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity.) The non-profit group routinely visits developing countries to provide free eye care to disadvantaged people.

    Dr. Jorge Won, the founding President of VOSH-New York worked in conjunction with Mount Sinai Medical Center to arrange for pro bono treatment here in New York City.

    After the necessary travel paperwork was in order, Yhoalibeth and her mother were flown up to the city for her surgery two weeks ago.

    According to Dr. Won, volunteer doctors and nurses usually treat their patients on site when they travel on their missions.

    He said that Yhoalibeth's condition was so dire, it was a necessity to treat her in New York City.

    "We decided to take this as a crusade, to make it possible for this little four-year old girl to have a better future," he said.  "We accomplished that."

    Doctors say Yhoalibeth's surgery was a success.  She and her mother will remain in New York City while she continues her outpatient care.

    Volunteers from VOSH-New York will soon be embarking on another medical journey.  They will be visiting Lebanon for the first time.