Durban Mae Coetzee
One of the happiest, sweetest, most self aware babies around.
She has a big heart and is full of love. She giggles often, loves snuggles, tickles, and listening to music. She loves spending time outdoors and enjoys evening family walks.
Her favorite foods are strawberries and sweet potato’s and her best friend in the whole world is ‘Shuga’ (the family dog).
On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, just two days before her due date, Durban Mae Coetzee made her debut and quickly filled the hearts of her parents. She weighed in 8lbs 3oz, and measured 21” in length.
Hours after birth, her parents noticed a slight discoloration on her right cheek, that resembled a halo. When they asked the nurse about it, she advised that it could be the start of a hemangioma formation, and to have her paediatrician take a look at it.
Days later at her first paediatric appointment, her Dr. confirmed it most likely was a hemangioma, but advised just to “keep an eye on it to see if it changes.”
By one month old, the halo filled in and was no longer white in colour, but had changed to bright red. At this time, the hemangioma was still flush with Durban’s cheek and her paediatrician prescribed Timolol as a topical treatment option. A local Specialist, Dr. Marcelo Hochman at MUSC Children’s Hospital was recommended for further insight.
Dr. Marcelo Hochman first met Durban around three months old and recommended her parents to continue the use of Timolol and return back at five months for a follow-up.
At her five month apt, the Timolol appeared to be making little progress, and Durban’s hemangioma took on a new shape with a dark lump forming underneath the skin, and distinct veins branching outward from the center. After seeing this, Dr. Marcelo Hochman was apprehensive to diagnose this as a Hemangioma, and explained it could be Kaposiform Hemangioendothelioma (KHE). He recommended one of two things; either biopsy the site to confirm 100% what it was, or begin Hemangiol oral treatment to see if the mass responded to this better than the topical Timolol.
At this point, Durban’s parents thought it was best to seek out a second opinion.
After hours of home research, Corina came across the Vascular Birthmark Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital and reached out immediately. After speaking with Dr. Milton Waner, she instantly felt more at ease. He assured her that he was confident Durban’s marking was in fact a Hemangioma, (not Kaposiform Hemangioendothelioma) and did not recommend the biopsy, since at that point, he thought it would be best to remove it in it’s entirety. He stated that Hemangiol and Propranolol are great remedies if given early on, but since Durban was approaching six months of age, it may not be as effective.
As parents, they knew what they needed to do. Durban needed surgery and they trusted no one other than Dr. Milton Water to be her Surgeon. In researching benefits and costs associated with a surgery such as this, disheartened, they knew they would not be able to financially afford the procedure for some time.
As the months went on, the hemangioma continued to grow. Her parents hoped and prayed endlessly for options and at nine months, they heard about The Lilly Foundation. Their prayers had been answered. Forever grateful, they are now able to get their daughter the surgery she so desperately needs.
Seven years old.
Words cannot express my thanks and gratitude to the Lillian Bay Foundation. This past January my 7 year old son Colin recently had his 10th surgery on his face as he was born with hemifacial hypertrophy. This is a childhood condition which falls under the facial anomaly/ vascular birthmark genre of medical conditions.
These surgeries are always extremely stressful as well as a difficult time for my family. Healthcare does not cover these important, necessary surgeries my child needs to thrive. We find ourselves scrambling every surgery, trying to figure out how will we pay for the next one.
We recently were introduced to the Lillian Bay foundation by our surgeon’s office, Dr. Milton Waner of The Vascular Birthmark institute. Due to this small introduction and one application, our lives changed overnight with this one particular surgery.
Within a matter of 24 hours from filling out the application our surgeon championed us to Lillian Bay and just like that, Lillian Bay’s founders and CEO’s reached out to us.
It was a dream come true for our family, my son and myself. Dr Ari Bernstein, made the first phone call to us, he could not have welcomed us more with open arms. Dr. Bernstein, offered kindness and any support our family needed.
Brad Beatty the CEO of Lillian Bay, gave me the next call. Brad offered help, kind words, as well as someone that understood my life as a parent with a child needing chronic medical procedures. As a parent that is always looking for help and resources to make our child's world happier, and more manageable, Lillian Bay Foundation, provided all of that. I will be forever grateful to LBF, as this was a surgery where we could breathe and just be with one another to support my son.
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Three months old.
Eleanor is three month old baby who has a hemangioma of the left upper eyelid. Surgical excision was necessary in a timely fashion as this could cause blindness in the left eye.
The procedure is very delicate because of the child’s age and where the hemangioma is located. Dr Waner from Vascular Birthmark Institute did an excision of the hemangioma successfully in November 2022.
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Seven months old.
This was a very complex case for a seven month old patient who underwent surgery on December 14th, 2022.
She is from Jacksonville Florida and had a three hour procedure to excise a venous malformation of her right cheek. Due to the complex nature of the surgery it had to include facial nerve monitoring. The patient also needed anesthesia for suture removal. The procedure was successful and the patient is healing well.