Deanne Stein, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY – A girl born in China had no hope of being adopted because she was special needs, but an Oklahoma couple saw beyond that and gave their new daughter a new life and hope.
Maisy, who's now two years old, was born with a giant hairy nevus covering nearly half her face. But through love, support and a team of surgeons, her life has been completely changed.
Maisy was abandoned shortly after birth in China, left in a box outside an orphanage at just two days old.
At seven-months-old, and with no hope of being adopted, Ben and Amy Root of Oklahoma City came to the rescue.
"I looked into her eyes and said ‘There she is. That one is mine,'" said Amy Root.
The giant hairy nevus that covered nearly half of Maisy's face didn't stop the Roots, but they knew there was a 10 percent chance of the nevus becoming a melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
A team of surgeons at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center laid out the plan to remove it just in case. They stretched Maisy's normal skin by placing balloons under her skin, two on her head and one on her chest, to ensure there would be enough tissue to cover the void when the nevus was removed.
"We stretched as far as we could, removed the nevus, made stuff up as we went along," said Dr. Ivan Wayne with The Children's Hospital.
The surgery took nine hours to complete and now she's recovering 10 days after the surgery.
"My first thought was she looked good, saw that smooth cheek," said Maisy's mom.
"It's reenergized my whole perception on medicine, what we can do and how a little bit of effort makes a difference," said Dr. P. Lloyd Hildebrand with the Children's Hospital and the Dean McGee Eye Institute.
That difference is something Maisy's mother hopes will encourage others to follow in their shoes.
"My hope is people will see Maisy and see our family and think of adopting these precious kids and give them opportunities to have a normal life," said Amy Root. "She was beautiful before and even more beautiful now."
Maisy's next surgery is scheduled for next Wednesday, when doctors will remove some of the skin covering her right eye. She's expected to recover fully.