Girl with rare facial deformity returns home after surgery in Dallas

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A little girl who was born with a rare facial deformity returned home to Guatemala after undergoing life-changing surgery in Dallas.

Doctors at Medical City Children’s Hospital said 20-month-old Sofia captured the hearts of staff and volunteers when she flew into North Texas with her month earlier this month.

Sofia was born with a bilateral Tessier Type III facial cleft. That's a rare congenital deformity that involves more than just a cleft lip. The clefts on Sofia’s face extended to her cheeks and her eye sockets. They affected her ability to see and speak.

On July 9, she underwent the second in a series of corrective surgeries. She also received a prosthetic eye to replace her non-functioning left eye.

The surgery went as planned and Sofia is healing well. She was able to fly back home with her mother over the weekend, the hospital said.

The hospital and its doctors are donating their services to help Sofia as part of the International Esperanza Project, a Dallas-based non-profit that tries to inspire hope in people in the developing worlds through healthcare, community development and education.

According to the hospital, Sofia will need many more corrective surgeries as she grows.