October 3, 2011
Kenmore Mercy Hospital is helping to make a difference in the life of a young Vietnamese man who was bullied for years because of a facial deformity. The surgery which took place the morning of October 3, is also made possible by Jeffrey Meilman, MD, and the Hope for Tomorrow Foundation.
Ngon Trung Ngo traveled from Ho Chi Minh City to Buffalo to have a donated excision of a large, dark area covering and disfiguring his face with the grafting of areas with new skin with a value of $40,000. This congenital, hairy nevi from birth covers one-third of Ngo’s face.
Ngo was picked on at a young age at school because of this facial deformity, was made fun of and called "two faces" and "masked face.” He was discriminated upon by Vietnamese society and even contemplated suicide. Ngo often wears a mask to hide his birth defect when he is out in public.
“Our mission is to serve those in need and we are happy to be able to help individuals like Ngon, who might not otherwise have access to this type of care in their homeland,” said James Millard, President & CEO of Kenmore Mercy Hospital.
Ngo is hosted by the Hope for Tomorrow Foundation, Vietnamese Community of Western New York President Manh Le and his assistant Tom Tran. His arrival was made possible by the efforts of the office of United States Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, working through many nights with the assistance of her aide Matthew Bradfuhrer in order to obtain a very difficult visa approval.
Dr. Meilman, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and his Hope for Tomorrow Foundation helps children and young adults in medically underserved countries throughout the world and right here in Western New York who receive needed surgery to correct facial deformities and other physical conditions caused by birth defects or injuries. During the past decade, the organization, which had been recognized by Pope John Paul II for its charitable work, has helped more than 2,000 children and young adults from around the world.