Published December 21, 2012
An adorable 6-year-old girl who was shot by the Taliban in Afghanistan successfully underwent surgery at a Long Island hospital Friday to repair her shattered little face and allow her to breathe normally again.
Little Marizeh — her last name is being withheld to protect her surviving family members in Afghanistan — lost her right eye in a bloody attack months ago. A bullet entered her left cheek and exited her right temple, said Long Island plastic surgeon Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh.
“They killed her father and brother, and they shot her in the face," Alizadeh said. "They left her for dead. Fortunately, she survived.”
Alizadeh works with Mission Restore, a group of doctors who treat victims from war-torn areas around the world. He performed Friday's surgery at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, N.Y.
During the operation, Alizadeh and his team reconstructed Marizeh’s skull, removing scar tissue from her nose and graft cartilage from her ear to the nasal septum. The surgery took two hours and Marzieh was "resting comfortably" in the hospital, Alizadeh said.
That procedure restored Marizeh’s ability to breathe through her nose, enabling her to sleep through the night for the fist time since she was shot. She also received a prosthetic eye to replace a temporary one.
The little girl was brought to the U.S. by the Global Medical Relief Fund of Staten Island.
“She is a precious little angel. We love her," said Elissa Montanti of the group Thursday. “I can’t imagine what she feels because she witnessed that. She is full of life and always smiling."