Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) A girl from Myanmar who suffers from extensive hemangioma of the tongue returned home Friday after undergoing surgery and rehabilitation that has greatly improved the problem. "I want to thank all the good friends in Taiwan," Pu Shuang-ting (???), a 7-year-old of Chinese descent living in a mountainous area of northern Myanmar, said in fluent Chinese before her departure. Pu has a swollen tongue that keeps growing and cannot be withdrawn into the mouth. Because her tongue was three times the normal size, she bit her tongue and bled constantly. Her eating and speech were also affected. She and her mother and aunt were brought to Taiwan in mid-May by Taiwan Root Medical Peace Corps. (TRMPC, ???), a private non-profit organization, which discovered the girl's problem during a trip to Myanmar last year. Lee Hsiao-ping (???), her attending surgeon at Taipei's Tri- Service General Hospital, carefully assessed her condition before performing surgeries so that her tongue would not pressure her respiratory tract and endanger her life. Pu, who used to be a child of few words, smiled often and could eat normally and even taste her dream food -- ice cream -- after the operations. During her four-month treatment and rehabilitation period, she developed friendships with medical staff and during her last return visit to the hospital Sept. 22, she thanked each of the medical staff. Lee even took Pu to the Taipei Zoo and TRPMC members also took her to the Taipei Children's Amusement Park to give her a taste of Taiwan. Considering the financial problems facing the Pu family, the TRPMC paid all the expenses associated with travel to the island, including air tickets, local transportation, food and accommodation, as well as medical bills. Before coming to Taiwan, Pu had visited hospitals in Myanmar, China and Thailand, but no doctors there were confident of treating her.
(By Sunrise Huang and Lilian Wu)