Cambodian Mission Patient on Road to Recovery

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March 30, 2009

One week after undergoing extensive surgery at Kenmore Mercy Hospital to remove a bone cyst in her right leg that prevented her from walking, 14-year-old Makara Tuan is making an amazing recovery. Her therapists report she is already walking with only one crutch and will likely be liberated of that soon.

Her amazing journey began in the tiny village of Svay Rolom in Cambodia, a country with limited medical resources, where she was discovered by the medical missionary group, Operation Renewed Hope (OHR). Diagnosed with an Aneurysmal Bone Cyst, the bone in Makara’s leg was so diseased she could break it simply by walking on it. OHR treated Makara at their free medical clinic; however, doctors determined that to prevent amputation of her leg, she needed extensive surgery and rehabilitation.

After several physicians declined to perform the surgery, Deborah Franco of Lockport heard of the young girl’s plight and put ORH in touch with Dr. Andrew Cappuccino, an orthopedic surgeon at Kenmore Mercy. Thus began Makara’s whirlwind journey across the globe to Buffalo, NY, made possible by RAPTIM Travel, which specializes in humanitarian and missionary airfare.

Franco’s family is now hosting Makara as she continues her physical rehabilitation. “She has settled well here and is amazingly picking up English quickly,” said Franco.

Makara underwent surgery on March 19, when Dr. Cappuccino and a team of doctors, nurses and technicians from Kenmore Mercy removed the cyst, resurfaced the effected area with bone grafting, and inserted a metal rod to support her leg.

Makara is currently in physical rehabilitation at the Williamsville Diagnostic Center – Partners In Rehab, a department of Kenmore Mercy at 400 International Drive in Williamsville.

To read more about Makara’s story, visit