Peruvian Boy's Face Saved by a Lucky Encounter with Dr. Payam Jarrah-Nejad "I was at the right place at the right time," says the Beverly Hills plastic surgeon
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Payam Jarrah-Nejad was recently in Peru on a volunteering trek where he found many faces, hands and bodies in need of reconstructive surgery they'd likely never be able to afford. It's a common enough use of some plastic surgeon's time: going abroad to volunteer with children and adults in poverty who might not otherwise receive this type of care. But for one very young boy this past week, Dr. J's presence at a hospital in the Peruvian town of Ayacucho was an unexpected blessing and a comfort in a time of terrible tragedy.
"In Ayacucho, as you walk, you see dogs on the street, that appear harmless," says Dr. Jarrah-Nejad, or Dr. J, as he's affectionately known to his patients. "And most of the time they are harmless, but you never know why a dog might attack." The toddler was pounced upon by one such stray. The attack was completely unprovoked, and left the boy's face badly injured. The local hospital had stabilized him, and it was clear that he would survive. In normal circumstances, however, he would have been disfigured for life due to the extremely slim chance that he'd be able to access reconstructive surgery.
"It was a day that I had already done a cleft lip operation, and I was finishing a reconstructive operation on a patient with burn scars when the director of the hospital asked me if I could help this little boy an hour after the attack had happened" Dr. J explains. It was by sheer coincidence that there was a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in the small town in Peru who was certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. J is well versed in Beverly Hills plastic surgery along with reconstruction of faces and hands, and this situation was very much in his wheelhouse. "There's a small window of time in which you can save a person's facial tissues and expressions after an injury, and this was right for it. I wouldn't say the kid was lucky, but I'll grant you he was less unlucky than he would have been."
Local TV was on hand to find meaning and inspiration in the events as they unfolded. The parents, shocked as they were by the brutal attack on their child, expressed gratitude that the tragedy would be mitigated by one of the best plastic surgeons in The Americas.
Now Dr. J is back in his hometown of Beverly Hills. "The concerns of a patient seeking breast augmentation in Beverly Hills are different from a dog attack victim, yes," he says, "but that doesn't mean I'd approach the cases any differently. One reason I became a plastic surgeon is the broad spectrum of work I get to perform. I love facial reconstruction just as much as I love hand reconstruction and all other aspects of cosmetic surgery." Patient testimonials on Dr. J's website bear this out.
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SOURCE Dr. Payam Jarrah-Nejad