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Leg surgery is best b-day gift for Yolanda survivor from Leyte

The 11-year-old girl who broke her leg when supertyphoon Yolanda battered her home in Burauen, Leyte got her best birthday present – successful surgery at a private hospital in Cebu City.

Rizza Flores, whose thigh bone was crushed by a wooden beam of the house that fell on her, can look forward to walking again, at first on crutches.

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The farmer’s daughter, who turns 12 years old today, was operated on by a team led by orthopaedics surgeon Leopoldo Jiao III at Chong Hua Hospital.

A stainless steel plate and eight screws now hold together Rizza’s broken femur bone near the hip.

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According to Dr. Jiao, in two weeks the girl can start walking with crutches.

After therapy and enough rest, Rizza can eventually walk unaided in three to six months.

The grade 4 pupil suffered intense pain for two weeks, treated only by a “hilot” in her mountain village until she was carried down to a hospital in Tacloban city where international volunteer medics spotted her case and had her prioritized for emergency evacuation by chopper to Cebu.

After yesterday’s five-hour surgery until 2 p.m., Rizza was kept in a recovery room and had x-rays taken before she was wheeled to a semi private room.

When she woke up, the little girl asked for water, too groggy to eat, and fell back to sleep.

When she fully wakes up later today, she’ll find her side table full of chocolate cookies, Snickers and wafers – gifts left by visitors who had read in CDN that Rizza had asked for chocolates for her birthday after getting her first taste of it at the hospital.

Three women visited on Monday evening bringing boxes of chocolates and cookies. Then a man came and gave another box of the brown sweets. A group of nurses in Chong Hua, wanting to make Rizza’s birthday memorable, also presented her with chocolates.

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Rizza was airlifted to Cebu in a private helicopter last Saturday with the help of the Doña Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Foundation. Businessman Philip Romualdez accompanied her on the flight with her grandmother.

Rizza is under the care of Cebu Daily News whose staffers take turns checking on her needs. Romualdez is the husband of Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez, president of the Inquirer Publications Inc. which publishes CDN.

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TAGS: birthday gift, Girl, leg surgery, Leyte, News, Yolanda survivor
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