Jean and Vic Valente have opened their hearts and nonprofit organization to Adwoa Frimpomaah, who suffered severe facial injuries in Ghana in 2006.
The Valentes -- who run Beyond our Borders, a small nonprofit -- were able to secure several surgeries free of charge for Frimpomaah, including a complex operation in 2006 at the former Schneider Children's Hospital in which a plastic surgeon created a new ear for Frimpomaah using cartilage from her rib. She returned to her village, but came back to Long Island in 2008 for more surgeries.
Frimpomaah is living with the Valentes, who she calls "Nana" and "Pop Pop," until she leaves for Ghana at the end of October.
Jean Valente and Adwoa Frimpomaah, July 2010. (Newsday Photo / Thomas A. Ferrara)