Nigerian girl going home with new face and new life - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Nigerian girl going home with new face and new life

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A Nigerian girl who was born with severe facial defects is getting a chance at a new life thanks to San Diego surgeons.

After several painful medical procedures, the 9-year-old is now thriving.

Favour finally gets to be a kid again. But to get to this point it took a flight from Nigeria, several surgeries and a lot of love.

"I'm glad - I'm very glad...Very grateful to God too for this opportunity."

Doris Mwuzor started looking for help the day Favour was born, but her search was going nowhere.

"In Nigeria - I did not know what she was going through - I knew physical deformity - but why - I didn't know until I came here."

Favour was born with a congenital disorder which caused underdeveloped ears and a severely disfigured jaw. And to correct them, doctors in Nigeria knew she needed to go somewhere with better medical services.

So a non-profit called Fresh Start Surgical Gifts brought her to San Diego, where she's undergone three surgeries in six months, and was forced to wear a device called a distractor.

"Waking up from surgery - her first question to the nurse was - when do I get to ride my bike again," said Amanda Thompson.

Which brings us to Monday morning, at a park in Mission Beach, Favour riding her bike with the friends she's made while taking classes between surgeries.

Turns out, her fellow second graders at Foothills Christian didn't just learn math, English and science this year. They also got a lesson in character, love and support and they earned straight A's.

"During lunch - while she's had the stuff on... A lot of the kids decided to stay in with her in the classroom - just hang out, play with her, so she didn't feel like she's alone," said Terri Menard.

Favour will spend two more weeks in San Diego, then fly home. She'll return next year for more surgeries but for her mom, Favour's best change has already happened - on the inside.

"Before now - she wouldn't like you to take pictures - because she wouldn't look at the mirror. But since we started the surgeries her self confidence is back. She wants to take pictures."

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