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patient story

a beautiful transformation

Samantha Moore

As the “face app” game sweeps the internet, social media has been flooded with pictures showing what people might look like when they are much older with a few more wrinkles and hopefully much more wisdom.

But for Tabitha Moore, she doesn’t need an app to show a transformation in her daughter Samantha. She gets to view Samantha’s transformation every single day as she stares into her daughter’s beautiful eyes.

Samantha was born with a condition called Pfeiffer syndrome, a genetic disorder that prematurely fuses certain skull bones preventing normal growth and affecting the shape of the face. At age 5, Samantha underwent extensive craniofacial surgery with a team of experts led by craniofacial surgeon Dr. Salim Mancho to correct the abnormalities.

When you look at a picture of Samantha before surgery you will see a very timid, distant and scared little girl. It takes only a few seconds looking at her after surgery picture to see the new her! 

“It was amazing to see the transformation after the surgery,” says Tabitha.

Tabitha discovered Dr. Mancho through an article announcing he was joining the Dayton Children’s team. Having already brought Samantha to Dayton Children’s for other care, she knew she wanted her daughter to see this new doctor.

“Within the first few appointments, I knew I wanted him to take care of my daughter.  He is very knowledgeable, but still takes the time to listen to our concerns as a family. He is wonderful.” 

Dr. Mancho informed the family that Samantha would need to have distraction surgery. The procedure involves cutting and slowly separating bone, allowing the bone healing process to fill in the gap. He gave the family options and presented two different types of approaches for surgery, each with its own benefits and risks.

“It was a big surgery, but Dr. Mancho prepared us for everything imaginable, but in realistic way – and as positively as possible.”

When it came time for surgery, Dr. Mancho was joined by neurosurgeon, Dr. Robert Lober, to ensure it was a success.

“It took Samantha a short time to heal and with that healing emerged confidence and emotional security.  It was like all of a sudden, she came out of her shell and has now blossomed into a confident little girl,” says Tabitha proudly.

Tabitha wants to share Samantha’s story so that she can spread hope for other families. Her wish for Samantha is that she never loses the confidence that she has now and that she will always remember that she can accomplish great things, because she’s already accomplished so much in her young life.