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Makara's Ability to Walk is Restored After Surgery at Kenmore Mercy Hospital

14-year-old Makara Tuan made an amazing recovery after undergoing extensive surgery at Kenmore Mercy Hospital in March 2009 to remove a bone cyst in her right leg that prevented her from walking. She left the United States in April 2009 walking with only one crutch and was able to walk freely shortly after.

Makara Tuan

Makara holds the hand of her "host mother" Debora Franco.
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 (ORH). 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 in Cambodia; however, doctors determined that to prevent eventual amputation of her leg, she needed extensive surgery and rehabilitation.

After several American 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, orthopedic surgeon at Kenmore Mercy. Thus began Makara’s whirlwind journey across the globe to Buffalo, NY, made possible by RAPTIM International Travel, which specializes in humanitarian and missionary airfare.

The Franco and Cappuccino families hosted Makara during her physical rehabilitation. “She has settled well here and is 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 hopes to learn English well enough to teach in Phnom Penh.

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