Now, more than a year later, the baby has a name — Margaret or “Maisy” — a new family, a new country and a new appearance.
The Roots' search for experts to handle their new child's medical issue led them to a team of specialists with OU Medical Center that, along with Hildebrand, includes reconstructive surgeons Dr. Ivan Wayne and Dr. Jose Sanclement.
At just 2 years old, little Maisy bopped in to visit her doctors, always carefully selecting her apparel. On one visit, she wore matching pink corduroy pants, button-down shirt and tutu. She carried her ever-present tube of lip balm that she applies to her heart-shaped lips liberally and often.
Wayne would lead a major operation that would resemble reconstruction of a cancer survivor's face.
“When you have such a small, beautiful girl like this, it's challenging to contemplate how you're going to put this all back together and make her look even better than she did before,” he said.
The team planned to insert little balloons to stretch the skin, then cut out the nevus and reposition the adjacent skin.
On surgery day Dec. 6, Maisy slid a surgical mask on her Woody “Toy Story” doll and called out to the doctors and nurses, “Let's go!”
Nine hours later, Maisy came out of surgery.
“The surgery went extremely well,” Wayne said. He said it may take 12 weeks for the healing to be complete and reveal the full results.
“I saw that smooth little cheek where it had been dark and hairy,” Amy Root said, “I saw that smooth, kissable cheek.”
Wednesday, doctors plan to open up the right eye and reshape the skin on the eyelid. Maisy's eye area was especially risky because of the possibility of causing lazy eye, though doctors now feel confident her vision and muscle control will be normal. A little more surgery may be needed.
Now physicians and her parents say they're seeing a remarkable recovery for the former baby nobody wanted — the child everybody loves.
“We always told her she was smart and beautiful,” Amy Root said.
“She was beautiful before and she's even more beautiful now.”