Manhattan Doctors Give 4-Year-Old Ethiopian Girl A New Chance At Life

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A little girl from Ethiopia, born with a potentially fatal facial disfigurement, will leave Manhattan for her homeland soon.

She has a new chance at life thanks to help from doctors and a special fund.

Samirawit Hailermariam, or Sami for short, acts like a typical 4-year-old but her life journey has been anything but ordinary.

From a remote village in Ethiopia, she spent most of her young life in hiding due to a disfiguring blood vessel condition.

“Sami has what’s called a vascular malformation on her face and it extended down from her mouth into her lip area,” nurse Michelle Sorscher, who found Sami in Israel, told CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson. “She had several episodes of large amounts of bleeding when she was over in Ethiopia and the doctors who were treating her in Israel were able to control the bleeding but couldn’t fix or cure the problem.”

Since May, Sami has undergone eight operations at Roosevelt Hospital.

“This child was mature even before she came to us…imagine having to live with that deformity in your own village and everybody’s looking at you. Imagine how sturdy you have to be to survive,” Dr. Alejandro Berenstein said.

The Save One Child Fund and other donors paid the bill.

Sami’s doctor said there is a 10 to 15 percent chance her malformation could come back but he says he will always provide additional treatment if needed.

Sami is expected to head home on Feb. 8.

Sound off in our comments section below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. shanko12 says:

    thank you Doctor i wish there are a few more people like you this world would be beautiful … thanks a million times

  2. Ethiopian says:

    I am really shocked to learn how America has become the land of good for nothing idiots! cursing a creature of God for just getting help from good hearted Americans?? What can I say, this is what u get when u have too much fat and a tiny microscopic brain…I hope u guys will try to move ur fat asses and get something done to move ur econmoy…don’t leave everything for the super smart immigrants that u call animals!

  3. DaTruf Hurtz says:

    At EthiopianPhDstudentinUSA and Lezemenu ZereNa ~
    BwaaaHaaaHaaaHaaa!!!! Of COURSE, you fine folks would have these types of thoughts, feelings and worst of all, cmments!!!!
    DaTruf Hurtz

  4. EthiopianPhDstudentinUSA says:

    Sorry but am really disappointed in reading some ignorant like comments. NO BODY CAN CALL US ANIMALS. Ethiopia is the birth place of human kind. You are related to this little girl through your ancestors. So why curse yourself people, PLEASE. Please search for the history of Ethiopia. The girl was treated with a fund from donors…You can get mad at your chance and the economy but no body has the right to get mad for this little getting treatment. SHE WILL NOT DIE FROM STARVATION OF ANYTHING. I PRAY TO GOD THAT SHE GREW UP, EDUCATED AND ONE DAY SIT ON MY DESK AND DEFEND HE COUNTRY AND CONTRIBUTE TO EDUCATING THE WORLD ABOUT ETHIOPIA. ETHIOPIA HAS SOME MANY POSITIVE SIDES THAT THE WORLD SHOULD KNOW…ETHIOPIA HAD EVEN DONATED FOOD TO THE NETHERLANDS BACK IN TIME. WE WILL NOT DIE…PLEASE DO NOT GET MAD AT ME TOO. I AM STUDYING HERE WITH FUNDING FROM Ethiopian government… NOT YOUR TAX MONEY. SORRY BUT IS IS A DISGRACE TO AMERICA THAT PEOPLE FROM THIS COUNTRY TALK DOWN LIKE THIS AGAINST DEVELOPING COUNTRIES LIKE MY BELOVED COUNTRY ETHIOPIA!!!

  5. Lezemenu ZereNa says:

    It’s very frustratig to read such comments in the 21st century ( especially in the US).

  6. Scott says:

    Good for her, but what about Americans that can’t afford such medical attention???

    Great feel good story !

    1. Very conservative says:

      Read a few posts below for the answer.

      1. Grow Up says:

        Whats crazy is americans have it better in america, there is so much help and we can work and live good. This is someone that is coming from proverty and has no help people need to get it together go get a career and good health insurance we are in a country where we can do that…!!!

  7. Donna says:

    I have friends in Montana whose grand-daughter was born with severe facial and hand deformities. The parents have spent every dollar they have on surgeries. People have donated money to help with these surgeries. More surgery will be required to create this child’s face to look normal. I wish more doctors in the United States would help American children with these types of issues. Don’t get me wrong, I am very glad this little girl named Sami will have a chance at life. But, my heart goes out to people here who also are in desperate need for help.

    1. Grow Up says:

      Whats crazy is americans have it better in america, there is so much help and we can work and live good. This is someone that is coming from proverty and has no help people need to get it together go get a career and good health insurance we are in a country where we can do that…!!!

  8. brooklyn4ever says:

    What a beautiful little girl she is now. Imagine how much more beautiful she will be once she fully heals. Good luck back home Sami!

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