Girl, 10, able to smile for first time in years after facial tumour finally removed

Houssainatou, ten, suffered from mouth pain as a toddler and her family was shocked as the lump grew over the years – and eventually forced her to drop out of school

Houssainatou went through several rounds of patient selection screenings before she was approved for free surgery (

Image: Shawn Thompson / Mercy Ships SWNS)

A 10-year-old girl can smile for the first time in years after surgeons saved her life by removing a facial tumor.

Houssainatou, 10, suffered from mouth pain as a toddler and her family was shocked to see the lump grow over the years.

With the facial tumor finally sticking out of the little girl’s face and forcing her to drop out of school when she was only eight, her father Souleymane feared his daughter would fight and die young.

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Incredibly, the doctors managed to save the young girl’s life by performing an operation on board a hospital ship.

The facial tumor was removed and the ten-year-old girl now lives a normal life at home with her grateful family.

Corn farmer Souleymane, who lives with his wife, daughter Houssainatou and their four siblings in a town in the highlands of Guinea, said: “I can’t believe it. She is so beautiful!

“I am so happy and excited to take her home to see the family.

Houssainatou, 10, suffered from mouth pain as a toddler
(

Image:

Shawn Thompson / Mercy Ships SWNS)

“I can only get enough food to feed my family, but not extra. I would never have the means to have an operation on my daughter.

“We kept praying, worrying, and looking for help.

“My heart is free now. The fear is gone. I’ve spent every day scared that she would die young, but now I’ll be spending my time helping her have a future. “

The proud father added, “I want her to become a doctor so that she can help people the way she was helped.”

The life-saving operation came thanks to Mercy Ships – a charity that performs free life-saving surgeries in West and Central Africa.

Houssainatou went through several rounds of patient selection screenings before being admitted for free surgery on the hospital ship “Africa Mercy”.

After only one day and a four-hour operation, Houssainatou was able to see herself tumor-free in the mirror for the first time in her young life and is now living to the full.

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