Cassidy Hooper Starts A Long Process to Getting a Nose
We first introduced you to Cassidy Hooper in March.
Born in Charlotte with no eyes and no nose, she lives life as any other 12-year old.
She sings, reads, Charlotte's Web is in braille, and this past Saturday, was my navigator in a charity road rally.
By Monday morning, Cassidy's excitement has turned to tepid caution.
This is a day Cassidy has dreamed of a long, long time.
She's getting an expander to stretch the skin above her mouth.
It's the first step in getting a nose.
"I know I'm not the only one, but I think it would be good for me to smell. And I would like to be, able to breathe through it." Cassidy told us.
Doctors say it could take ten to twelve surgeries over the course of three years to, hopefully, give the gift of smell to this very grateful young lady.
Cassidy talked to us as she was in her hospital bed clutching her teddy bear.
"His name is Quentin, and I have him here so I don't get scared."
CMC's Dr. David Matthews is Cassidy's surgeon.
He says he's going to first widen the face to create a bony opening, to eventually make a nasal airway.
"Everything hinges on the step before it. Like building a house. Make your foundation. Foundation isn't good, put your framing on it, something collapses."
It's involved, says mom Susan, but Cassidy maturity is well beyond any normal 6th-going-on-7th-grader.
"I don't think I'd have the attitude she has towards it." Susan Hooper told us.
Hours later, all is well.
First step done.
It's outpatient surgery, so Cassidy and her mom head home, to wait and see how far her skin stretches, and when it'll be time for Cassidy, and most likely Quentin, to come back for step two.