WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Haitian toddler has gone under the knife at a hospital in West Palm Beach. A rare birth condition brought the baby girl to the U.S. with hopes for a new lease on life.
Some people are calling her a 'miracle baby'. Baby Lillie, as she is affectionately known, is in recovery at Palm Beach Children's Hospital at St. Mary's Medical Center after a surgery that was supposed to take five hours.
Lillie was born without a fully developed rectum. She was unable to rid herself of solid waste except through a tube placed into her abdomen.
The 21 month old girl is from a remote village in Haiti. A non-profit organization based in Lake Worth called Peace Of Mind Outreach found Lillie in her village while staffers were on a mission last year. They vowed to find her treatment to save her life.
On Thursday, they took a deep breath after a successful surgery at St. Mary's Medical Center.
"This is the first time in this little girl's life that she can be normal," said Dwight Walton, Sr., who oversees Peace of Mind Outreach. "And it's going to be new for her. It's going to be a challenge."
"They call her a miracle baby," said Sylvie Florestal, Director at Peace of Mind Outreach.
"They say that she is a warrior, a fighter and they love her. They did a wonderful job and she did a wonderful job. Now she's awake," she said.
Lillie has come a long way from life in Haiti. She is in the U.S. now with her parents - who have little to no money - and are staying with members of non-profit organization.
More surgeries are in the toddler's future to remove the abdominal tube. Baby Lillie is said to be resting comfortably after Thursday's procedure.
Peace Of Mind Outreach depends on donors in order to continue its work with Lillie and others.
Find out how you can help by clicking here .