NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – In most ways, Hennglise Dorvial is a typical teen, but there’s no hiding she is very different.
“Sometimes I feel sad.”
Through a translator, the shy 15-year-old from Haiti told WAVY News’ Stephanie Harris a little bit about her life.
“Because I see I’m sick, I cannot go to school, that’s why I’m sad,” she said.
A tumor started to grow on her face four years ago. It’s now the size of a melon, and it has doubled in size over the last 10 months. That’s when she stopped going to school and even family stopped visiting.
“I don’t have friends,” she told WAVY.com.
She hopes that will soon change. Hennglise underwent surgery Monday at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk.
Dr. Bill Magee, CEO and Co-Founder of Operation Smile, performed the surgery. He explained the tumor is pressing on her brain and has already popped her left eye out of its socket. Without surgery, it would continue to grow until it suffocates her.
“What we’ll do is remove the upper jaw from the midline back and take out, if you will, that upper jaw, and then in the end after we shell out the tumor and we’ll rebuild a left upper jaw,” Dr. Magee explained.
He has done this before. Dr. Magee showed us before and after pictures.
“My child can be just like that,” Hennglise’s mother said after seeing the pictures.
It’s something her mother has prayed about, and after seeing the pictures, the hospital and meeting the surgery team, Hennglise says she believes.
“I was so happy, I said ‘God is going to deliver me.'” she explained.
CHKD says Monday’s 10-hour surgery went well. The doctors are pleased and are very optimistic for her recovery. Hennglise will spend a couple days in ICU before moving to a regular hospital room. She will then stay in Hampton Roads with a host family to recover.
For more information Hennglise’ story and how you can help her, click here.
Stay with WAVY.com as we follow her progress.