United States

Boy From Haiti Receives Life-Saving Surgery at Connecticut Children's Medical Center

When a 9-year-old boy with a fast-growing tumor needed help immediately, and a group of Good Samaritans stepped in to provide life-saving surgery.

Jean Olivier needed help he couldn't get in his native Haiti, and his father was at the end of his bank account.

“Because the work that you've done I don't have enough money to pay for it, because I've been spending since 2013 to help him and nothing worked,” his father explained through a translator.

The aggressive tumor that plagued the 9-year-old was not cancerous, but grew so quickly it was about to cause life-threatening problems.

"As it grows it expands in the bone, it erodes the structures and actually starts to block off the airway, down the roads he would not be able to eat drink or even breathe so it was becoming a very dire situation,” explained Dr. Stewart Lieblich of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

A group from the Calvary Chapel Church in Colorado heard of his plight, and raised the money to get him to the United States. Then Lieblich, an oral surgeon at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, took over.

"The surgery took about eight hours we did a resectioning or cutting of the jaw on either side to remove the mass or the tumor, it weighed about two and a half pounds," Lieblich explained.

Now Jean is resting comfortably. It will take the bone grafts in his jaw about two months to heal, then he’ll be back on the soccer field.

"Sometimes the surgical part gets the most attention but it's not just this one person that can do something like this, it's definitely a Thanksgiving that's come through the work of many people,” Liebluch.

“To give thanks is not enough, it's only God that can really thank you guys," Jean’s father said through a translator.

The whole procedure will not cost the Olivier family anything thanks to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Compassionate Care Fund.

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