The following material contains graphic images of an actual surgery that may be disturbing. Parents are advised that these images may not be suitable for young children.
Sandy's mom Maricela says her daughter is lovely and happy. "She's the princess of the house." During her pregnancy, she had an ultrasound and it was discovered that her baby had the mass. "It was definitely one of the saddest days of my life," she tells us.
Before the surgery, Maricela tells us, "I feel so powerless. There's so much I can't do for my baby. I'm scared."
Pediatric facial plastic surgeon Dr. Milton Waner and his team begin a surgery to remove as much of the facial tumor as possible and says they were able to remove around 95 percent of the lesion. He says they were able to preserve all of the nerves they set out to keep.
Dr. Waner explains that Sandy has a lymphatic malformation, which is an abnormality of lymph vessels. He goes on to explain that a lymphatic malformation will affect how the body processes excess fluids and that this can cause a backup and distortion in the body. He says this occurs in approximately every 6 per 1000 live births and notes the size of Sandy's growth is uncommon.
Sandy and her older sister Ruth join the panel and says of her little sister, "See's doing amazing. She's just so happy... it was really hard [seeing Sandy go through this]. Seeing her suffer... it was just so heartbreaking."