We heard about Oniste from another Haitian Hearts patient. As you can see from the picture above, she had an unbelievably huge tumor on her forehead. It started as a small bump three years ago and has grown to this monster, which was destroying her health and threatening her life.
On a few trips this year, John examined Oniste. While he assured her that we were searching for a hospital in the States, the tumor ignored our good efforts and continued to grow. After several near misses with medical center, the amazing Dr. Wayne Yakes, a vascular interventional radiologist who specializes in tumors at Swedish in Englewood, Colorado, accepted Oniste.
John flew with Oniste to Colorado. Dr. Yakes threaded a catheter up to the tumor and cauterized the blood vessels feeding the tumor. This was a critical step as before we met her, Oniste had gone to the Dominican Republic and surgeons there had attempted to remove the tumor. But they had to stop because she bled so profusely.
The day after Dr. Yakes performed his magic, Oniste went to the OR where she successfully had the tumor removed. She had a couple of touch up surgeries after this and she will have radiation therapy as the tumor was mildly malignant, but as you can see from the after picture below, which was taken while she was still in the OR, she is a new woman! Oniste is being cared for by a lovely Haitian family who lives in the Denver area.
These Haitian Hearts cases require so much work to be the successes that they are, it seems scandalous that I write about them so briefly. For more detailed and comprehensive reports, please go to John’s blog at Dispatches from Haiti hosted by the Peoria Journal Star.