Girl gets revolutionary surgery at CHKD to help her breathe

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by Lucy Bustamante, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 21 at 9:26 AM

NORFOLK -- Operation Smile helped a six-year-old girl from Mexico receive a Nuss Procedure at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters for her sunken chest Monday.

The procedure to correct pectus excavatum was invented at CHKD by Dr. Donald Nuss in the early 1990s. The procedure is minimally invasive and has a more than a 99 percent success rate. 

Six physicians, including Dr. Robert Kelly and Dr. Frasier Frantz, performed the surgery on Azucena Calderon Osuna this week. 

A live stream was broadcasted to Operation Smile’s global headquarters.  The team hopes to help teach physicians from around the world how to replicate the procedure and results.

Acuzena's father, Gonzalo Calderon Aviles, met Operation Smile co-founder Dr. Bill Magee while Magee was on vacation in Baha, California. Aviles asked Magee whether he could help his daughter. Aviles had no idea the surgery his daughter needed was created at the hospital where Dr. Magee practiced.

"God put these people near me. They're an answer to my prayers," Aviles said.

He was able to thank the inventor hours after his daughter's successful surgery.
 

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