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Life-changing surgery for Ethiopian girl

A before photo shows 13-year old Aster Degaro,

A before photo shows 13-year old Aster Degaro, an Ethiopian girl who had an 8-lb tumor growing from her neck. A group of physicians from Lenox Hill Hospital and Cohen Children's Medical Center spent almost 8 hours removing the mass and then reconstructing the area to give her a more normal appearance. Credit: Handout

On Sept. 11, surgeons at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park removed a 7- to 8-pound benign tumor from the neck of Aster Degaro, a 13-year-old girl from southern Ethiopia. The growth was life-threatening because it displaced her carotid artery. Her trip and surgery were sponsored by the Little Baby Face Foundation. With the mass removed, Aster now has a chance to begin a normal life.

 “This truly is a new beginning,” said Aster’s father, Derebe, who joined his daughter on the trip. “Now my daughter can go to school and have friends … she will have a life.”

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