Disfigured woman from Kazakhstan receives reconstructive surgery - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Disfigured woman from Kazakhstan receives reconstructive surgery

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Doctors at University Hospital say the woman who was disfigured because she was misdiagnosed as having terminal cancer had a successful first reconstructive surgery on Thursday.

Back in 2001, a doctor in Kazakhstan told then 19-year-old Lessya Kotelevskaya she only had three days to three months to live.  She was given 60 radiation treatments, along with chemotherapy.  The treatment left her with a hole in her face.  She is barely able to speak, and cannot chew or swallow well.  Her husband left her, the boutique they owned closed, and she was left homeless.

It turns out Kotelevskaya really suffered a broken jaw, not terminal cancer, after someone fell on her at a basketball game.

"Everything went great," said University of Louisville Physicians plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Jarrod Little, who performed the surgery. "It couldn't have went any better, and I'm extremely happy with it."

The surgery began at 10:40 Thursday morning, and just over an hour.  She left the hospital Thursday afternoon with her cousin Oleg Sennick, who found her after a two-decade search and brought her to Louisville.  Sennick said, "She was also surprised by how sterile everything was, how clean, as obviously she's never had that kind of care....She's still kind of amazed."

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