U.S. Surgeons Remove 6-Pound Tumor from Gambian Girl’s Mouth

Dr. David Hoffman (L) and Dr. Armen Kasabian hold a model of a tumor at Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., on Thursday. The surgeons removed the actual 6-pound tumor, pictured in the brighter red, from the mouth of a 12-year-old girl from the West African nation of Gambia in January. (AP Photo/Frank Eltman).

A 12-year-old girl from the West African nation of Gambia is expected to leave the U.S. next week after surgeons successfully removed a 6-pound tumor from her mouth.

Surgeons in New York say the benign tumor in Janet Sylva’s mouth was about the size of a cantaloupe and was one of the largest tumors they’d ever seen. They say it prevented her from eating and made breathing difficult. They feared Janet would die within a year if nothing was done.

Dr. David Hoffman learned of Janet’s plight after doctors in Senegal reached out to international health groups.

The Global Medical Relief Fund arranged for transportation, housing and travel for Janet and her mother.

A large medical team volunteered for the January operation at Cohen Children’s Medical Center on Long Island.