A smiling 7-year-old was released from a New York hospital today after surgeons undertook a rare, high-risk operation to save her life, USA Today reports. The operation, performed last month, called for surgeons to temporarily remove her stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver and large and small intestines in order to reach a baseball-sized tumor.
It was only the second time the procedure has been executed, and the first time on a child. Cancer had irrevocably damaged her stomach, pancreas, and spleen, so surgeons were forced to construct a stomach from intestinal tissue. Without a pancreas Heather McNamara will be diabetic, and she’ll be more susceptible to infection without a spleen. But for now, the McNamaras are thrilled to have their daughter back. "She's doing fantastic," Joseph McNamara said.