An eight-year-old boy left severely disfigured after a group of chimpanzees attacked him and two other boys as they played in their native Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is to undergo surgery in the US.
Dunia Sibomana, unlike the other boys, survived.
However, his lips were ripped off and one cheek was torn apart, leaving him with muscle damage that makes it hard for him to eat, swallow and communicate.
Now, Dunia will have surgery at a Long Island hospital that will use tissue and muscle from his forearm to recreate both lips.
The planned eight-hour procedure will be the first of three major operations for Dunia, who was brought from the DRC in November with the help of the non-profit foundation Smile Rescue For Kids.
Dr Alexander Dagum, the hospital’s chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery, said he believes there are only three other documented cases where the same surgery has been performed.
The hospital is covering the cost of the surgery and the doctors have all donated their time.
In his short time in the United States, he has been living with a host family on Long Island, attending elementary school and learning English.
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