Health Stories

Four-year-old girl flown to Australia for treatment of her rare facial hernia

The transformation is incredible.
Eddie Jim

Born in a public hospital in the Philippines, Angel’s parents were immediately worried for their little girl.

In fact, she was rushed away instantly and it wasn’t until five days later that the worried parents were able to learn what had happened.

Their girl had been born with a rare hernia of the brain known as encephalocele. Before she was born, Angel’s skull hadn’t completely closed up, causing fluid and brain tissue to pool in a growth on the front of her face.

‘When I saw her for the first time, I cried a lot,’ Angel’s mum told The Age.

‘I cried every moment I looked at her and I blamed myself for her condition.’

Angel inspected her hernia
Angel had to move the hernia in order to see out of her left eye. (Credit: Eddie Jim)

As she grew, so did the hernia, which ended up covering most of her left eye, and impacted her ability to sleep, breathe and play.

After years of raising money and saving, and with the help of the Children First Foundation, it was decided that Angel be brought to Adelaide for life-changing surgery.

angel after her surgery is happy
Volunteers and charities helped put a smile on Angel’s face. (Credit: Eddie Jim)

In a four hour surgery the hernia was removed from Angel’s face and a bone graft was out in to seal the opening in her skull to prevent it returning.

Angel has since celebrated her fifth birthday, and while there are more surgeries in her furture to re-shape her nose, she couldn’t be a happier little girl!

Related stories