Melyssa Delgado Braga of Brazil is only three-years-old and suffers from myxoma, a usually benign tumor in children that happens to grow very rapidly. Her Mom, desperate to help her daughter, reached out to Brazilian media. The media picked up Melyssa’s story, to try and find help and funding but could not find the help she needed in her home country.
That is when Dr. Celso Palmieri, an assistant professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at LSU Health-Shreveport saw Melyssa’s story on a Brazilian news site. Palmieri is also Brazilian and knew he wanted to be the one to give this little girl a second chance.
Palmieri contacted the family over social media and arranged for their travel and accomodations in order to perform the operation. Once the little one arrived she underwent several surgeries, some to remove the tumor and others to reconstruct where the tumor had eaten through her jawline. In order to correct the damage, doctors had to implant her jaw with a titanium plate.