Melyssa Delgado Braga’s parents were desperate for their little girl to live a normal life, but doctors told them she was inoperable. Her parents took to social media by posting about her story and pleading for treatment in the United States.
Melyssa was like any other 3-year-old little girl, except she had a massive five-pound tumor growing in her jaw, making it difficult to breathe and eat. Although it was benign, it was very aggressive and could result in a slow death if not removed.
Assistant professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Louisiana State University, Dr. Celso Palmieri Jr., saw Melyssa’s parents post on a Brazilian news site while he was reading publications. After an hour of searching on social media, Dr. Palmieri found Melyssa’s parents personal Facebook page and reached out. Her parents only speak Portuguese, but since Brazil is Dr. Palmieri’s homeland, he was able to communicate with them. Dr. Palmieri then shared their story with his colleague, Dr. Ghali.
“It was heartbreaking. She couldn’t even hold her head up the tumor was so huge. She could hardly swallow at all and was beginning to have problems breathing,” Dr. Ghali says.