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Doctors reconstruct face of woman disfigured by cancer treatments

A woman left disfigured by radiation treatments for a cancer she never had is undergoing reconstructive surgery in hopes of restoring her life.

Lessya Kotelevskaya could be in surgery up to 24 hours at University of Louisville Hospital.

The surgery on the 30-year-old woman began Monday. The surgical team is led by Dr. Jarrod Little, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with UofL Physicians. The doctor is donating his time.

Kotelevskaya was misdiagnosed about a decade ago in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. Her face was disfigured by radiation treatments, causing a hole in her cheek and making it difficult to eat and talk. She lost her husband, business and home.

Her cousin, Oleg Sennik, found Kotelevskaya and brought her and her young son to Louisville, where he lives.