Landmark Update: Thalia, Strong and Thriving

Thalia and Margarita with Paola Chaljub (Dominican Cultural Society Secretary) and her daughter Itzel

At LEAP, we value developing long-term commitments to our patients, their families, and their communities to create a lasting impact in their lives. As one of our longest-served patients, Thalia’s story exemplifies this value.

We met Thalia on our 2001 Dominican Republic mission when she was only an infant. A few months later, she and her mother Margarita traveled to Dallas through our Landmark Program for her first of many surgeries. Since that time, Thalia has received surgical care when the mission team travels to the Dominican Republic and when she has traveled to Dallas for more complex surgical care.

Thalia and Margarita arrived in Dallas last weekend and were welcomed by the Dominican Cultural Society, a local organization dedicated to promoting, educating, and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the Dominican Republic. Several of their members have supported and cared for Thalia and Margarita during their previous visits to Dallas, so mother and daughter have received gracious hospitality this week from friends both old and new.

On Tuesday, Drs. Craig Hobar, Evan Beale, and Grant Gilliland performed a four-hour reconstructive surgery on Thalia’s eyelids, nose, and chin. She had an overnight stay in Medical City Dallas Hospital and has recovered very well. “Ella es fuerte,” one of her nurses said. “She is very strong.”

Next week, Thalia will have a prosthetic eye evaluation with ocularist Randy Trawnik and a post-operative evaluation with Drs. Beale and Hobar. She and her mom will then travel home later in the week. We greatly appreciate the Dominican Cultural Society’s generosity and kindness in welcoming Thalia and Margarita and providing transportation, comfort, support, and pieces of home during their stay. To learn more about the Dominican Cultural Society, please visit their website and follow them on Facebook.