Peruvian Girl Undergoes Delicate Surgery

Mount Sinai donates services to save little girl’s life

New York, NY
 – November 16, 2010 /Press Release/  –– 

After eight months of intricate surgical planning, little Yhoalibeth Abanto of Peru, born with a life-threatening genetic abnormality called neurofibromatosis type 1, is well on her way to recovery at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Yhoalibeth was brought to Mount Sinai by Volunteer Optometric Services, a group that offers free eye care to individuals in developing nations who have no means of treatment. The organization brought Yhoalibeth’s case to the attention of The Mount Sinai Medical Center, which donated its services to save the little girl's life.

Because of a fist-sized tumor inside her skull, Yhoalibeth’s once tiny face had swollen dramatically and her right eye, shut tight, now bulged grotesquely The tumor was situated not only in Yhoalibeth’s eye but at the base of her brain, requiring a very delicate touch to remove enough of the tumor without causing additional harm.

"The stars were aligned, in the sense that she was located, and there was a team who really took her condition to heart," said Joshua B. Bederson, MD, Chairman of the Mount Sinai Department of Neurosurgery.

Yhoalibeth’s mother is with her in New York, grateful for the care and attention that has brought her daughter so far — geographically, physically, and emotionally. She is looking forward to her daughter enjoying a normal life, she said through an interpreter.

Watch the ABC 7 News story about the surgery.