Janet's Story

Healing the Children Helps Little Girl from Gambia Smile Again

Dear Friends,

In August of 2016, I received an email from Healing the Children about a little girl from Gambia with a horrific tumor affecting her lower jaw called an ameloblastoma. I immediately sent her picture to several of my colleagues who were interested in treating her. Once I had a team assembled, I received permission from Staten Island University Hospital to provide charity care for Jannet and have her tumor removed and her jaw reconstructed. With the help of Healing the Children and Elissa Montanti from the Global Medical Relief Fund, we were able to arrange the visa and transportation for Jannet Sylva and her mother.

Pre-Op X-Ray


Before Surgery

Once Jannet arrived, we realized the tumor was much worse than we had anticipated, and we arranged care for her treatment at Cohen's Children's Hospital. A team of surgeons that has worked with Healing the Children, as well as staff from Cohen's Children's Hospital, part of the Northwell Health Care System, were able to treat Jannet. The surgery, on January 16th, lasted about 10 hours. The tumor was resected, and the jaw was reconstructed with a graft from her lower leg. Jannet has recovered remarkably well. This young girl, who would not even make eye contact when she first arrived and wore a scarf around her face because she was so embarrassed to be seen, has now turned into a lovely young lady who is eager to smile, talk and try all the new foods that she was never capable of eating.

Jannet Smiles Again After Surgery

Jannet's story is typical of the type of work that we do with Healing the Children to help children receive medical care around the world. Although Jannet's story is real, it almost resembles a fairytale where someone is turned into a beautiful princess. With your help, this kind of work can continue, both by bringing children to this country and delivering care throughout low-income countries around the world. Your donations go a long way in this type of work. Once a year, we hold our annual fundraiser at the Copacabana, and we are able to generate enough money to provide for these medical trips, helping children.

Please make the evening of Saturday, the 29th of April, a fun time, and help us support the work of these doctors and nurses. Please support our annual fundraiser event. You can purchase tickets for you and your friends; if you can’t attend, please donate or buy raffle tickets.


David C. Hoffman, D.D.S.

Video Media

Doctors Prepare to Remove Jannet's Tumor


Jannet Has Surgery to Remove Tumor

Jannet Has Life Saving Surgery


Jannet Smiles Again After Surgery