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13-Year-Old Girl with Rare Tumor Thanks Surgeons at North Shore-LIJ's Cohen Children's Medical Cener
Date:5/9/2013

also had to remove part of the lining of Elizabeth’s voice box and the upper section of her trachea (windpipe).

At that point, Dr. Zeltsman (also using images taken during the surgery to describe his work) was called in to resect the diseased portions of the windpipe and put the two ends back together, while simultaneously reconstructing the lining of the voice box.

Elizabeth’s mother said her deep religious faith kept her spirits high during the most difficult moments of her daughter’s surgery. Recalling her emotions, Elizabeth read excerpts from a letter she had written to Dr. Smith shortly after her surgery: “You’re not only a doctor, you’re a dad and a human. Thank you for saving me. I will always remember you forever. Keep saving those lives and may God bless you.”

At the conclusion of Wednesday’s news conference, the hospital prepared a surprise for Elizabeth, who had lost a lot of weight prior to surgery because of her inability to swallow. Her mother had told staff that after surgery Elizabeth couldn’t get enough of her favorite dish -- linguine Alfredo with shrimp. As she finished reading her letter, members of Cohen’s Food Services Department came in with five dishes of linguine, so that Elizabeth and her parents could enjoy a fine lunch with the two surgeons who had brought the brave young girl back to life.

About the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York
Opened in 1983, the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) of New York is home to about 675 pediatricians, including 160 full-time physicians, and a total workforce of more than 1,200, including more than 500 nurses. For the sixth consecutive year in 2012, CCMC was ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's 2012-13 “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals” survey.

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