Vietnamese orphan leaves community that took him in during facial treatments
Doctors at Children’s Hospital Boston conducted 26 operations and treatments to diminish the growth that was about the size of a large bowling ball when he arrived in Canada.
They managed to remove the bulk of the lesion, which had obstructed his mouth, posed a threat to his airway and made speech and eating difficult.
Son said earlier that the best part of his long medical odyssey — aside from it being over — was being able to eat properly.
“I feel good,” he said weeks after having his last procedure in January. “My lip used to be big and I had to eat over side, so it’s a lot easier now.”
Son began his trek to Canada after one of Walter’s colleagues at the charitable organization, Children’s Bridge Foundation, found him at the Vietnamese where he had been living since he was three.
She brought him to Toronto in the hopes that doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children would be able to treat the vascular growth, a sponge-like mass of soft tissue, muscles and nerves.
But after months of evaluation, doctors in Toronto said they didn’t think it was in Son’s best interests to have the procedures since it was not life-threatening.
Walter then searched out other hospitals and found Mulliken, who was willing to take on the case and donate his time to treat Son.
Walter raised more than $500,000 from donors, while a U.S. medical foundation contributed $250,000 to cover the treatments that cost about $1 million.