The smile that defies the Taliban: Marizeh, 6, has life changing reconstructive surgery at Long Island hospital after being shot in the face
22:16 GMT, 22 December 2012
You can barely see a hint of the sorrow that beautiful 6-year-old Marizeh endured when she smiles up at you with her newly reconstructed face.
Marizeh, who's face was ruined by a Taliban's bullet in Afghanistan, underwent surgery at a Long Island hospital Friday to repair her face and be able to breathe normally again.
Marizeh – who's last name is being
withheld to protect surviving family in Afghanistan – lost her right eye
in the attacks months ago.
Christmas gift: This holiday Marizeh will sleep soundly for the first time since her shooting
Angelic: There are barely any hints of the Taliban bullet that pierced this young girl's face after Friday's surgeries
Recovering: After surgery, Marizeh has a brand new prosthetic in her right eye
Smashed: Marizeh's face was ruined when a Taliban shot her in Afghanistan
Alone: Marizeh father and brother were killed in the attack that wounded her ace
bullet went in through her left cheek then exited her right temple,
according to Long Island plastic surgeon Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, who operated on her at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside.
'They killed her father and brother, and they shot her in the face. They left
her for dead,’ Alizadeh said. 'Fortunately, she survived.'
'We took her into the operating room and cleaned out all the scar' Alizadeh said Friday. 'She actually did very well in the hospital and it going to go home this morning.'
Marizeh was also given a prosthetic eye and is now recovering at the Global Medical Relief Fund on
'They have a house there for kids like this,' Alizadeh said. 'So she’s
going to stay there to recover for the next two to three weeks.'
Homeward bound: Once recovered, she will return to Afghanistan to live with her family in a secret location
Before and after: Marzieh's face ws reconstructed after a Taliban attack took her eye
Carefree: If the operation to correct her breathing is successful Marizeh will be able to sleep through the night for the first time in months
After that she'll return to her
home country with a new name with family members in a hidden location
where they will hopefully be safe from the Taliban.
Alizadeh works with Mission Restore, which is an organization of doctors who treat victims from war-torn areas.
surgery took roughly 2 hours, during which her skull was reconstructed,
scar tissue removed from her nose, and cartilage was grafted from her
ear to her nasal septum.
Marizeh will again be able to breathe through her nose, allowing her to sleep through the night for the first time since the shooting.
Brand new: The surgery took roughly 2 hours, during which her skull was reconstructed, scar tissue removed from her nose, and cartilage was grafted from her ear to her nasal septum
Done: Hospital staff said they were amazed how brave Marizeh was
Operating: If her procedure is successful Marizeh will get a new prosthetic eye and be able to breathe properly for the first time since she was wounded
'She is a precious little angel. We love her,’' the group’s Elissa Montanti, told the New York Post.
As Marizeh speaks no English they use charades to communicate with her.
has been through a hell,' Montanti said.
Marizeh only survived
because her father shielded her before he himself was killed.
'I can’t imagine what she feels because she witnessed that,' Montanti said. But, 'She is full of life and always smiling.'