Decked out in hot pink and all smiles, 7-year-old Heather McNamara hardly looks like a little girl who just underwent a historical operation.
Just four weeks ago, the pint-sized patient at New York Presbyterian Hospital had a tumor the size of a tennis ball.
Doctors had previously thought the tumor was inoperable because it was tangled around vital organs and essential blood vessels.
But the family from Islip Terrace found hope in a new doctor who created a plan that required a lot of work. Three separate surgical teams clocked 23 consecutive hours
The autotransplantation procedure involved removing the girl's small and large intestines, liver, pancreas, spleen and stomach.
And although the McNamaras are going to have some difficult medical challenges ahead, young Heather's life is no longer in immediate danger.