Life-changing surgery for ni-Vanuatu girl

Life-changing surgery for ni-Vanuatu girl

Life-changing surgery for ni-Vanuatu girl

Updated 26 November 2012, 12:15 AEDT

A ni-Vanuatu girl is set to return home from Australia after undergoing dramatic facial reconstruction surgery at Melbourne's Monash Children's Hospital.

Four-year-old Failyne Terry was born with hydrocephalus, a disfiguring condition which causes a build-up of fluid in the brain, compressing it against the nose and eyes.

Failyne lived in constant pain and her family was shunned by the local community, until an Australian clinic on Vanuatu referred her to Rotary and the Monash Children's Hospital.

Surgeons in Melbourne rebuilt Failyne's face through five operations over six months.

Failyne's mother, Mepile Leben, says her daughter is now "full of life" and "full of energy".

"Big difference, when we first came, she feel scared...She didn't like the swing, she walked but she scared," Ms Leben said.

Associate Professor Andrew Danks, who performed the operations, said Failyne had been a "delight to deal with".

Failyne will fly home to Vanuatu on Tuesday, before returning to Australia for a check-up in five years time.