Thursday, May 24, 2018
Health

Haitian teen cleared to return home after surgery to remove tumor

TAMPA — His right cheek is still a little swollen, and there's a small section of it that remains numb to the touch.

But Jacques Saintil was all smiles Monday during a followup visit with Dr. Patrick Abbey, one of two local oral and maxillofacial surgeons who two weeks ago removed a large tumor that had been growing rapidly inside the 18-year-old Haitian's lower jaw.

"He's looking fantastic. He heals really well," Abbey said.

Saintil's journey to Tampa was the result of a series of events that began about 15 months ago, when the young man took a six-hour bus ride to a dental clinic near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince staffed by David Leever, a Tampa orthodontist.

An X-ray revealed that Saintil had a mandibular ameloblastoma, a noncancerous tumor that was eating away at his lower right jaw. If not removed, it would spread to other parts of his skull and likely kill him.

Leever contacted Tampa surgeons Abbey and Dr. Barry Levine, who agreed to help Saintil free of charge. Florida Hospital Tampa also stepped in to help, as did the vendor of a titanium bone plate that Saintil would need for the surgery. The total cost of Saintil's care would have cost more than $100,000.

Saintil's family members pooled money together to fly him to Florida.

On April 11, Abbey and Levine removed the tumor and a large portion of Saintil's lower right jaw, and replaced it with a bone plate made of titanium during a three-hour procedure. "Everything went well," Abbey said.

Since his surgery, Saintil has stayed at his cousin Jina Dorce's Lakeland home. He has been resting, watching TV – mostly cartoons – and taking trips to the mall and church, Dorce said.

On Monday, Abbey examined Saintil and told him he was cleared to return home to Haiti until July, when he is due back at Florida Hospital for a second major procedure, in which his lower jaw will be rebuilt using bone from his hip.

Abbey said that Saintil must continue to eat only soft foods for three more weeks. "No steak, pork chops or nuts," he told Dorce, who relayed the message to Saintil in his native Creole.

Saintil nodded and smiled.

"But he's missing his fried chicken," Dorce said.

Richard Martin can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3322.

Comments
Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Some of the boxes stacked inside anthropologist Molly Zuckerman’s laboratory contain full bones — a skull, a jaw, or a leg. Others contain only plastic bags of bone fragments that Zuckerman describes as "grit." These humble remain...
Published: 05/23/18
FDA warns teething medicines are unsafe for babies

FDA warns teething medicines are unsafe for babies

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials warned parents Wednesday about the dangers of teething remedies that contain a popular numbing ingredient and asked manufacturers to stop selling their products intended for babies and toddlers. The Food and Drug...
Published: 05/23/18
A chronic lack of sleep could lead to decreased brain function, study finds

A chronic lack of sleep could lead to decreased brain function, study finds

A sleep study revealed that less than six hours of sleep a day can limit the brain’s ability to function properly.The study, published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that people experiencing less than...
Published: 05/23/18
Many cancer patients juggle care along with financial pain

Many cancer patients juggle care along with financial pain

Josephine Rizo survived chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, but breast cancer treatment wrecked her finances.Money was already tight when doctors told the Phoenix resident she had an aggressive form of the disease. Then she took a pay cut after goin...
Published: 05/22/18

Hernando County officials gather to remedy ‘dearth of services’ for youth with mental illness

BROOKSVILLE — Educators, court officials, law enforcement officers and health care professionals met Friday to identify the best ways to keep local youth with mental illnesses out of the court system and provide treatment for those already in the sys...
Published: 05/22/18
Give your arms a workout, too

Give your arms a workout, too

In addition to appearance, it is very important to maintain strength in those arms, as they are needed for practically every upper body movement we perform. We often take our 23 arm muscles for granted, until we reach a point where it suddenly become...
Published: 05/22/18
Intermittent fasting seems to be a good thing, new report suggests

Intermittent fasting seems to be a good thing, new report suggests

Going long hours without eating isn’t good for us, we are often told. Our bodies need fuel regularly. Otherwise, we may become lethargic, tired and hungry. Our thinking can become mushy, our ability to work, and even play, hampered.Not so fast.A new ...
Published: 05/22/18
U.S. approves first drug developed to prevent chronic migraines

U.S. approves first drug developed to prevent chronic migraines

TRENTON, N.J. — U.S. regulators Thursday approved the first drug designed to prevent chronic migraines. The Food and Drug Administration’s action clears the monthly shot Aimovig (AIM’-oh-vig) for sale. It’s the first in a new class of long-acting dru...
Published: 05/18/18
Know your blood pressure numbers? Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day

Know your blood pressure numbers? Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day

Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day, and the American Medical Association is encouraging people to monitor their blood pressure levels and get high blood pressure, or hypertension, under control. High blood pressure, sometimes referred to as the...
Published: 05/17/18
Study: Depression in men may lower chances for pregnancy

Study: Depression in men may lower chances for pregnancy

Women having trouble getting pregnant sometimes try yoga, meditation or mindfulness, and some research suggests that psychological stress may affect infertility. But what about men: Does their mental state affect a couple’s ability to conceive?The la...
Published: 05/17/18