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Six-Pound Tumor Successfully Removed From 12-Year Old Girl From Gambia [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 13, 2017 09:32 AM EDT

Janet Sylva, a 12-year old girl from Gambia, has been suffering from a six-pound tumor in her mouth for three years already. On January 16 at the Cohen Children's Medical Center in Hyde Park, New York, an operation took place which brought a huge smile on Janet's face.

The surgery was a 12-hour operation which aimed to remove the tumor's entirety in the child's jaw. A bone graft from the leg has been made as a replacement for the jaw that was taken away. The six-pound tumor caused discomfort, pain, appetite shift, difficulty in talking, and confidence from the girl who walks around the city with a scarf draped on her face without looking straight ahead for the fear of being judged, the Mail Online said.

Janet's mother, Phillomena Sanyong said that her daughter started complaining about mouth pain and discomfort when she was 9 years old. It started out small and Phillomena thought it would go away, but as the months and years passed by, the tumor grew more than she could have expected.

Dr. David Hoffman, a resident doctor at Staten Island University Hospital and a head of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery said that the 6-pound tumor made the child a prisoner in her own body, the CBS News reports. He was notified of the case via an organization called Healing the Children- an International Organization that were called out for assistance by doctors in Senegal who are handling the girl's case.

Dr. Hoffman said the tumor could have had the chance to be treated when it was still in its early stages of discovery, but since it was left untreated, it grew gigantically like a cantaloupe or a grapefruit. The six-pound tumor extracted from Janet's body was the biggest New York doctors have ever come across with.

Through Hoffman's help, a team of volunteer surgeons and the Global Medical Relief Fund arranged Sylva to visit New York and have the surgery done at absolutely no cost. Three months after the procedure, Janet is doing well and could return to her home country already.

The cause of the tumor has been unknown but research and doctors said it might be for the lack of access to clean water in the area that triggered the spread of the tumor's bacteria.

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