Woman Born Without Tongue

<p><span>A Brazilian woman born without a tongue is getting groundbreaking treatment in her home country. The doctors' work has even been published in a U.S. science magazine.</span><br /><br /><span>Full story:</span><br /><span>A woman born without a tongue is receiving groundbreaking treatment in Brazil.</span><br /><br /><span>Twenty-three-year-old Auristela Viana da Silva spent years having difficulties eating, speaking, and breathing.</span><br /><br /><span>Her mother says that for a while she thought her baby wouldn't make it.</span><br /><br /><span>[Adriana Viana, Auristela's Mother]:&nbsp;</span><br /><span>"She has been living on the edge from the time she was born; she could have died after three days."</span><br /><br /><span>When he saw the young child, one of Silva's first doctors was amazed she was still alive.</span><br /><br /><span>[Frederico Salles, Surgeon Who Treated Auristela]:&nbsp;</span><br /><span>"I was very surprised [when I saw her]. At the time, with 30 years of experience, I had never seen anything like it. When she opened her mouth and we saw no tongue, I thought how could she still be alive."</span><br /><br /><span>After a decade of seemingly ineffective treatments, a team of doctors finally decided to go for a more extraordinary option.</span><br /><br /><span>In a process which required two surgeries, doctors expanded Silva's chin and jaw to create more space in the interior of her mouth. Silva also had to use braces for her teeth.</span><br /><br /><span>Orthodontist Jorge Faber was involved in Silva's complex treatment. He says it's situations like these that enable progress in medicine.</span><br /><br /><span>[Jorge Faber, Orthodontist]:&nbsp;</span><br /><span>"Those special cases present challenges which a lot of times require atypical solutions, and that's what generates expertise and progress."</span><br /><br /><span>The Brazilian doctors' work was published in a U.S. science magazine. Silva said she couldn't be happier with the results and that her quality of life has dramatically improved.</span><br /><br /><span>[Auristela Viana da Silva, Woman Born Without Tongue]:&nbsp;</span><br /><span>"I am able to speak better, to chew better, and also to communicate better. Today I'm studying, I lead a normal life, and ready to face the challenges, I like challenges."</span><br /><br /><span>An American woman who only gave her first name, Kelly, is one of the three known cases in the world of people born without a tongue.</span><br /><br /><span>After learning about the treatment, she travelled to Brazil to be treated by the same team of doctors who treated Silva.</span></p>