Successful surgery after wrong cancer diagnosis

AP News
Posted: Jun 24, 2014 12:50 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky medical team has repaired the gaping hole in the side of a woman's face, caused by radiation treatments for a cancer she never had that turned her into a cast-off in a former Soviet republic.

Lessya (LESS'-uh) Kotelevskaya (Ko-te-lev-SKY'-uh) was recovering Tuesday following a 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.

The 30-year-old woman was brought to Kentucky last year by her cousin, Oleg Sennik. He said Tuesday she can't wait to have a normal life again.

The disfigurement made Kotelevskaya an outcast in Kazakhstan. At one point, she lived in the utility room of a car wash. Her husband left her and her business went under after the cancer misdiagnosis.