'Little Mo' surgery successful

Mohammad Karimi, 11, was watching cartoons and eating Popsicles shortly after undergoing his 19th reconstructive surgery Thursday, July 8, addressing a severe congenital facial deformity.

Dr. Lucie Capek said the goals of the three-hour surgery were accomplished during the procedure. Now Mohammad can breathe easier because of improvements to his nasal passageway.

Mo did very well today, said Capek on Thursday. "His surgery went as planned, and I was able to even out the two sides of his nose, create the right nostril and to balance out the volume in his face with the micro-fat grafts."

This ongoing procedure may not be simple, but Mohammad has received support from multiple individuals. Capek, Ellis Medicine and the Schenectady Anesthesia Association donated their services to assist Mohammad, and Dr. Mohammad Rad opened his home in Amsterdam to Mohammad and his mother so they have a place to stay when visiting for procedures.

"Mo is very resilient," said Rad. "He has been through this many times."

Little Mo came to the United States with help from The Capital District Rotary International Gift of Life Program, which pays for travel expenses back and forth from Mo's native Iran.

This was Mo's fifth procedure under Capek's care, and the Ellis medical staffers have grown to know Mo and his mother.

"Mo holds a special place in our hearts," said Kathy Halbig, a registered nurse at Ellis. "It's rewarding to continue on this journey with him. He has made so much progress."

Little Mo said that when he grows up, he hopes to fix computers and invent new things using technology. For now, he plans to enjoy growing up and living the relatively normal childhood these surgical procedures have given him.""

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