Just a few weeks after Noor Nunez was born, she started to develop a “small skin irritation” in between her eyes, or at least that’s what her family believed it was at the time. What started out as a “scratch,” later became hemangioma.
According to Fox News, Nunez’s father is a retired contractor for the U.S. Army. The father worked in Kuwait, where he now resides with his family. Joe Nunez told Fox News, that as time progressed and Noor got older, “it started to darken in color, and then it started to actually protrude.”
After visiting several doctors, Joe learned that his daughter had a hemangioma. As the Mayo Clinic reports, a hemangioma is “a bright red birthmark that shows up at birth or in the first or second week of life. It looks like a rubbery bump and is made up of extra blood vessels in the skin.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, most hemangiomas begin to fade away after they stop growing. However, in Noor’s case, she needed surgery to have the growth removed.
After being unable to find sound medical advice from local doctors and specialists, many of which told the Nunez family to simply wait it out, Joe and his wife turned to the internet to find doctors in other countries with other opinions.
As Joe told Fox News, that’s where they learned about Dr. Gregory Levitin, an otolaryngologist and vascular birthmark specialist at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. Joe immediately sent Dr. Levitin an email describing his daughter’s hemangioma, and Dr. Levitin responded back within hours.
“He essentially said, ‘Whatever you have to do, please let’s work toward scheduling and getting your daughter into surgery here with me because, at the current condition, there’s no other resolution but surgery.”
As Levitin told Fox News, no two hemangiomas are ever quite the same, which makes every surgery to remove a growth different. “Every patient needs an individualized treatment plan.”
The Hemangioma Was Removed the Day Before Noor Turned 1-Year-Old
From the start, Levitin knew he wouldn’t be able to remove the entire hemangioma, but following a two hour and 20-minute surgery, Joe said his daughter’s growth had completely disappeared. Noor turned 1-year-old the following day.
All that was left was some of the redness. Nonetheless, with a number of laser treatments, Levitin said he’s confident much of the redness will go away with time as well. Joe told Fox News:
“Previously when you looked at Noor, here in Kuwait everyone would just draw towards [the growth]. Now when you see her she looks like she has a little red, but it’s a completely flat skin surface.”
Joe said they wanted to share their daughter’s story with others so that parents with children who have similar growths can know there is an effective solution. “We’re trying to pay it forward essentially.”
Dr. Levitin wrote on Twitter, “We are so grateful to the Nunez family for sharing their story about their daughter Noor. This case is an important reminder for patients with vascular birthmarks to speak out and seek an early evaluation and accurate diagnosis.”
All in all, Levitin called the surgery a “great success” and says there is no chance that the hemangioma will return.
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