A team of doctors, nurses, and technicians from Jackson Memorial gave their time and skills to help a Honduran girl with a disfiguring oral tumor.
In an impoverished area of Honduras, a young woman named Carmen Sanchez has lived in a 12 by 12 hut with seven other people and no running water.
Beyond her desperate living conditions, Sanchez has also been living with a benign tumor of her lower jaw that has consumed her face.
"This tumor was growing forward and backwards so it was occluding her ability to eat and also the tongue was affected so she wasn't able to speak for the last four years," said Dr. Christopher Salgado, a plastic surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Salgado and oral surgeon Dr. Michael Peleg were part of a team from Jackson that gave up their own vacation time and donated their skills to fly to Honduras for a procedure to remove the massive tumor.
"This was about the size of a grapefruit, I've never seen anything quite this big," said Salgado.
"I can tell you we basically saved her life twice, once by removing the tumor and second by performing the reconstruction and getting her back into social life in a very fast way," said Peleg.
Within days of surgery, Sanchez was able to eat and speak for the first time in years.
For the doctors, it was about more than helping one person.
"It's important to be able to give back to the human society," said Peleg.
An organization called Central American Medical Outreach, or CAMO,, covered the cost of airfare and accommodations for the doctors and several medical technology companies provided the necessary instruments and support material to conduct the surgery.