NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a risky surgery, but one that may have saved one teenager’s face — along with his life.
Zoubir Lahodi, 18, of Morocco, suffered from a severe venous malformation that caused the blood vessels in his face to become dilated, ultimately disfiguring his facial figures.
The condition also lead to a series of health issues, like difficulty breathing and eating, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported. He was also more at risk to serious injury from minor accidents that could easily rupture the enlarged vessels.
Lahodi traveled to America, where he sought treatment from Dr. Milton Waner at North Shore-LIJ Health System Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side. Under Dr. Waner’s care, the teen underwent seven surgical procedures on his face, to remove what doctors described as a “ticking time bomb.”
“Most physicians shy away from doing these types of procedures,” Dr. Waner said. “They are very, very, very difficult — and nervewracking.”
Lahodi unveiled his newly-constructed face to the public alongside Dr. Waner at Lenox Hill Hospital on Monday.
Speaking through an interpreter, Lahodi said it was his dream to come to America to have the surgery that would save his life.
“And he never known that he…have this humanity, like real human people and stand with him to help him,” the interpreter said.
The staff at Lenox Hill hospital also presented Lahodi with a new bicycle — an activity he has always enjoyed.
Lahodi thanked Dr. Warner and the Lenox Hill Hospital staff for their pro bono work and said that he was ready to get back to a normal life, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.