Two Stony Brook Children’s Hospital doctors have given a young Kenyan girl a reason to smile.
After a 2010 humanitarian trip to Nairobi, dentist Leon Klempner and plastic surgeon Alexander Dagum returned to find an email from a charity director about a young girl, Saline Atieno, who was badly disfigured after contracting a rare but serious bacteria called noma. The disease ravaged the girl’s face, eating away at her palate, jaw and nose. The majority of children who contract noma die from it. The charity director asked if there was anything the doctors overseas could do, as her condition was so severe.