Thank you for visiting paducahsun.com, the online home of The Paducah Sun.

June 2012
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Successful surgery repairs woman's face

By BRUCE SCHREINER Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - A Kentucky medical team has painstakingly repaired the disfiguring injuries to a woman's face, caused by radiation treatments for a cancer she never had that caused a gaping hole in her cheek and made her an outcast in a former Soviet republic.

Lessya Kotelevskaya was recovering Tuesday following the 16-hour surgery the day before at University of Louisville Hospital.

Her surgeon, Dr. Jarrod Little, said the procedure to reconstruct her jawbone and cheek went according to plan.

"Lessya cannot wait to get back to her normal life," her cousin, Oleg Sennik, told reporters.

The 30-year-old's life spiraled into tragedy when she was diagnosed with terminal jaw cancer at age 19 in Kazakhstan after she was accidentally elbowed in the face at a basketball game and her jaw became swollen. The damage from radiation treatments made it difficult to eat and talk.

Sennik spent years searching for his younger cousin, and when he found her she was a mere 79 pounds and living in the shadows of life in Kazakhstan, where the Ukrainian native had lived since childhood. By the time she found out the cancer diagnosis was wrong, she had lost her husband and their clothing boutique. She scraped by for years with odd jobs at night so people wouldn't see her. At one point, she lived in the utility room of a car wash.

"She was rejected everywhere she went before," her cousin said.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha c3e329f9322e4d2bb979cce55f5a6982
Top Classifieds
  • • Old English Bulldog Puppy$ ... Details
  • Hummel Figurines, Bells & Platesi ... Details
  • PILLOW TOPmattress sets NEW in plasti ... Details
  • Cash for farms & gold (270)339-8 ... Details
  • RUNNING, fixable, junk vehicles, equi ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't b ... Details
  • 3 BD, 2.5 BA, 1900 sq ft, 1 mi. from ... Details
  • OWN YOUR OWN HOME -AS LOW AS $500 DO ... Details
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX-L sedan 4 dr. 70K ... Details
This Week In Photos
Most Popular
  1. Trump denies mocking journalist's disability
  2. Parade draws heavy security
  3. Russia joins with France to fight IS
  1. Drive-by shooting kills single mother
  2. Two hurt in 3-vehicle wreck
  3. Missing woman's body found
  1. Russia joins with France to fight IS
  2. Trump denies mocking journalist's disability
  3. Parade draws heavy security

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...