Christine Honeycutt who is an 11 year old girl and suffers from Parry-Romberg syndrome which is a rare disease that causes half of her face to deteriorate and eventually waste away has had surgery to successfully get it back.
The disease also known as progressive hemifacial atrophy is an immune system disorder that affects people between the ages of five to fifteen years of age and one in a million people get this disorder. Although there is no cure for the problem there are surgical methods that can help.
Vicky Honeycutt, the girl’s mother contacted Dr. John Siebert who is a plastic surgeon and a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. He’s also a microsurgery specialist and has done 140 operations for the Parry-Romberg syndrome patients.
Sibert calls the operation to rebuild the girl’s face like “building a teddy bear” as he had to take healthy tissue from her armpit and implanting it beneath the skin of her face. The implanted tissue the grows with the surrounding tissue so that the two hemispheres of the child’s face grow at similar rates of speed.
The success of the surgery at present isn’t the end for the girl as she’ll need some fine tuning and then later she’ll need more major surgery as she ages.