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13.02.2007 Health

Young boy from Ghana in need of surgery helped in the Pee Dee

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A young african boy is in Florence, where he had a massive bony tumor removed from his forehead.
His mother was shot and killed when he was only six months old, and his father died of malaria the next year. Just five days after his surgery, NewsChannel 15 met with the little boy known as the big miracle.

He can only say two words in english.

"Thank you," said Awal.

But those two words say it all. Four year old Awal left his home in Ghana twelve days ago in West Africa to have a tumor removed from his forehead.

"The tumor, the tumor was humungous," said Hassan Al-Hassan, Awal's Interpretor. "I've never seen a kid with such a tumor."

"It was huge," said Walker Floyd. "It looked like a mason jar stuck on top of his head, with skin stretched over it, that's how it was."

Five days ago, Awal went through nine hours of surgery at McLeod Regional Medical in Florence. After removing the tumor, doctors had to reconstruct Awal's forehead using bone from his ribs.

"He was shocked," said Al-Hassan. "When he woke up, I asked him, I said, 'Where is the thing?' He said he doesn't know. He kept touching to see if it's still there."

Now, Awal's tumor is gone, thanks to the Florence Rotary's Gift of Life.

"We're going to be sending this little man back to Ghana and hopefully we're going to send him back to a better circumstance than when he left," said Floyd.

Awal says he can't wait to go home to play with his friends for the first time with new confidence, and doctors say, a healthy future. Awal's surgery was made possible by the Florence Rotary's Gift of Life and a group of doctors from McLeod Regional Medical Center who volunteered to help.

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