Young Belize girl recovers after hours of surgery

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Thanks to the hours and dedication of dozens of doctor from UT Medical Center and East Tennessee Children's Hospital; Caterina is recovering after a life saving surgery.

Caterina came to Knoxville to have a tumor the size of a football removed from her face.

The cancerous tumor was removed two times before but it grew back rapidly, about a centimeter a day. It took over her face, eye and nose leaving her unable to do the normal things an 11 year-old would do.

It took doctors hours to remove the tumor then a plastic surgeon had to come in and reconstruct her nose, cheek and eye socket.

The surgery was a success and now Caterina is coming to terms with her new face. She lost her eye and nose due to the tumor but says she is happy to be alive.

Caterina will spend the next 5 months here going through chemotherapy to make sure the cancer has not spread.

We will continue to keep you updated on her progress. However, if you want to help children like Caterina who need medical attention they can't get anywhere else, you can donate to the Faith Welch Fund.

It's named over the first child who came to Knoxville for medical attention from a foreign country. The fund is through the East Tennessee Children's Hospital and the number to call is 865-541-8441.

You can also mail a check to:

Children's Hospital
Faith Welch Fund
2018 Clinch Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37916

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