Kevin Rosero holds his signed soccer ball at the press conference. He is surrounded by members of the Stony Brook Men’s Soccer Team, including Head Coach Ryan Anatol (upper right) and his Stony Brook surgeons Drs. Alexander Dagum, left, & Henry Woo.
Ten-year-old Kevin Rosero lived most of his life with a serious facial malformation encompassing his tongue, pharynx, lip, cheek, eye socket and temporal bone, but thanks to surgeons at Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital – ten surgeries later – Kevin is headed home to Ecuador on Tuesday with a newly transformed face.
For a treatment that could not be performed in his home country, Kevin was brought to the U.S. by Blanca’s House, a non-profit group of healthcare professionals who volunteer their time to provide medical treatment for underprivileged children and their families.
Dr. Alexander Dagum and Dr. Henry Woo treated Kevin over the past eight months.
“The malformation made it hard for Kevin to eat and speak and he was always at risk of bleeding and potentially dying from an airway obstruction or going blind in his left eye,” Dagum said in a statement. “Kevin has done remarkably well and will live the rest of his life without the malformation and like any normal boy.”
To celebrate his recovery, the Stony Brook men's soccer team named Kevin – who is an avid soccer fan – an honorary captain for their Sept. 13 game, during which the team defeated Rhode Island 1-0. Kevin was also given the gift of a ball signed by the entire team and a Seawolves T-shirt.
Kevin's surgeries included eight procedures to cure the vascular malformation on his face. Woo performed several embolization and sclerotherapy procedures, while Dagum completed surgeries on his cheek and lip as well as oral and orbital components of Kevin's face, followed by a surgery to give him a normal-looking lip.
While he was being treated, Kevin lived with a host family, the Campbell family of Miller Place.
“Kevin is a remarkable and brave young boy,” Sheila Campbell said in a statement. “Thanks to Blanca’s House and the amazing work of Kevin’s Stony Brook doctors, Kevin’s life has changed. This would not have been possible without them. He will be going home to his family completely healthy and with a bright future.”