New York, NY (January 2005) -- In October 2004 we first met Anya Kadalanova, a 10-year-old who lost her eye from shrapnel in the terrible school siege in Beslan, Russia.
After successful surgery to reconstruct the damaged socket and being fitted with a new and better prosthetic eye, Anya headed home with her family in January 2005.
Photo: Anya, Alonya and their father (tan sweater) said goodbye and thank you to New York Eye and Ear Infirmary doctors (from left) David Della Rocca, Elizabeth Maher, Robert Della Rocca, and Daniel Branovan.
Robert Della Rocca, MD, chief of ophthalmic plastic surgery at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, headed the team of surgeons who donated their services for this humanitarian gesture. "Anya's eye will continue to develop more motion and the swelling will go down," said Dr. Della Rocca at one final check-up. "Eventually it will be hard to tell which one was lost."
Both Anya and her little sister Alonya, 7, were hostages in the school massacre. Their mother was one of 335 hostages murdered. Alonya was shot in the leg and Anya suffered injuries from shrapnel. She and her family were brought to New York for surgery by a coalition of Russian and Jewish organizations.
Young Anya can now look forward to a brighter future.
In the months while healing between the operation and the prosthetic fittings, the family was taken on a whirlwind of sightseeing, including to the White House with Daniel Igor Branovan, MD, a Russian-born doctor at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary who was involved in arranging the care and treatment. "She is a different child since surgery," said Dr. Branovan. "It has helped heal her spirit."
During the final check up at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary with Anya and her father, Dr. Della Rocca received a certificate of appreciation from Michael Nemirovsky of the Jewish Community Relations Council. Also present was Dr. Branovan, who has helped to arrange state-of-the-art American medical care for a number of people injured in terror attacks around the world.
If you are a reporter seeking to interview this or any other doctor at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, please contact Jean Thomas, at (212) 979-4274, or Axel F. Bang, at (914) 234-5433.
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