Meet Kassy, a lively 5 ½ year old girl from Tijuana, Mexico, who was born with a congenital pigmented hairy nevus on her right arm.
“It was a black birthmark with a lot of hair. It looks like a monkey and it was bad looking," Kassy described it, as only a five year old can say. Kassy has undergone three surgeries so far, all through Fresh Start.
“Without the program we would not have been able to afford it,” Kassy's grandmother said.
The first of Kassy’s three surgeries created an expander in the skin of her abdominal area to fill over time with a saline solution, expanding the skin in the area.
The second surgery removed the expander and created a ‘pocket’ in her abdomen. The hairy nevus tissue was removed and the arm was sewn into the abdominal pocket.
The final surgery, on February 28, was to separate her arm from her side. Fresh Start volunteer surgeon and ASPS member Sara Dickie, MD, was the lead surgeon on Kassy’s treatments and has overseen her care.
Kassy is now headed home to begin her life anew without her "monkey skin" as a fun-loving, happy and vibrant young girl.