NEW YORK (CBS) ―A little Canadian boy who captured the hearts of his countrymen had life-changing surgery Monday here in New York. The facial deformities that kept him from living normally were removed at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center.
Don’t mistake the cries of 2½-year-old Maddox Flynn. He’s never been better. Just ask his smiling doctor.
“I think just about every kid comes out of surgery crying but he’s fine,” pediatric facial plastic surgeon Dr. Milton Waner said.
Or better yet, ask his dad.
“This is a dream come true,” Mike Flynn said.
CBS 2 HD saw video of Maddox before surgery at home in Edmonton. He was born with cystic hygroma, a lymphatic disorder that caused the massive tumors on the left side of his face.
Maybe just as difficult for little Maddox as the blindness and bone damage was the fact that other children would run away from him because of his appearance.
On Monday in surgery, Dr. Waner and his team removed the tumors without damaging any of Maddox’s facial nerves. The delicate procedure took more than five hours, drastically changing the boy’s appearance.
“I was able to reposition his nose and I was able to shorten the distance between his eye and lips so his face is much more symmetrical,” Dr. Waner said.
His parents and grandparents were at his bedside to comfort him, but Maddox had many more people behind him. Thousands of people from across Canada donated close to $200,000 to help make this surgery in New York possible. His mom was already imagining what his new life will be like.
“He’s gonna go home and he’s gonna keep being strong and beautiful and energetic and he’s not going to have any people staring at him,” Nicole Champagne said.
His parents know his story will give other children with cystic hygroma the inspiration they need. Right now all he needs are the people who love him most.
Maddox is expected to be released on Wednesday. His doctor said he’s confident the tumors will not grow back.
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