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Doctors Help Girl with Disfiguring Tumor Regain a Normal Life

At BMC our patients are people… I wanted Krystal to be the person she was meant to be.
A team of BMC experts removed a large tumor from
behind Krystal Ingram-Anthony’s right eye that was
disfiguring her face. Today, Krystal is entering
kindergarten with normal vision.

Krystal Ingram-Anthony is a healthy thriving five year old, but when she was only eighteen months old, doctors at Boston Medical Center discovered a tumor behind her right eye that was threatening her vision and disfiguring her face.

“We were concerned that her vision was being affected by the tumor. If the tumor continued to grow, her vision would worsen and at some point her visual loss would become irreversible,” said Suzanne Freitag, MD, director of ophthalmic plastic surgery in the Department of Ophthalmology at BMC.

The tumor was growing fast along the base of Krystal’s skull and into her eye socket. BMC physicians worried that, not only could the tumor blind the little girl, but it could also threaten her brain. After considering the options, Dr. Freitag and her colleagues determined surgery was necessary to remove the tumor to prevent permanent damage to Krystal’s eye.

Dr. Freitag assembled a multidisciplinary team of experts at BMC including neurosurgeon Lawrence Chin, MD, and skull base surgeons Anand Devaiah, MD, and Scharukh Jalisi, MD. Together, they performed a craniotomy to access the tumor. Dr. Freitag and Dr. Devaiah worked to remove the tumor from Krystal’s orbit, while Dr. Chin closely inspected the procedure to make sure the tumor was not encroaching on Krystal’s brain. Dr. Jalisi delicately reconstructed Krystal’s face after the procedure. A biopsy revealed that the growth was a hemangioma, a tumor composed of blood vessels that commonly cause strawberry birthmarks in babies. The location and size of Krystal’s hemangioma, however, was very rare.

“At BMC our patients are more than just patients, they are people. I flash forward to 20 years down the road, and I wanted Krystal to be the person she was meant to be,” said Dr. Devaiah of helping Krystal retain her vision and regain a normal appearance.

Today, Krystal is running on the playground, learning to read at school, and doing what other young, healthy children are doing: just being a carefree kid.

“They were wonderful,” said Krystal’s mother Angelina Ingram-Anthony of her daughter’s doctors. “Dr. Devaiah and Dr. Freitag loved Krystal so much, and I love them so much for helping my daughter.”