MIAMI, Fla (April 30, 2008) – Surgeons at Holtz Children’s Hospital located at the University of Miami/Jackson Medical Center have successfully removed an extremely large tumor that severely deformed the face of fifteen year-old Lai Thi Dao from Vietnam.  Without surgery, the tumor’s rapid growth in comparison to the rest of her organs would have eventually led to the critical closing of Lai’s throat and collapse of her upper airways.

The following statement can be attributed to Dr. Jesus Gomez and Dr. Robert Marx, oral and maxillofacial surgeons of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center:

“We’re happy to report that yesterday’s surgery to remove the extremely large tumor from Lai’s face was successful as we were able to remove the entire tumor.  Lai responded very well to surgery and the outcome is better than expected.  We are very optimistic and look forward to sharing more news on her progress as she recovers.”

The surgical preparation and procedure took approximately 14 hours:

  • Surgical team began preparations at 8:00 a.m.
  • The first incision was made at 11:30 a.m.
  • The surgery was completed at 10:30 p.m.

Lai is currently recovering at the pediatric intensive care unit and is listed in serious condition.  Lai’s surgery was possible thanks to the community’s support of The International Kids Fund (IKF), a program of Jackson Memorial Foundation that is dedicated to helping children throughout the world overcome serious illness.