Beverly Hills surgeon gives rejected girl new ear at Disney Store – NBC Los Angeles
A 9-year-old New York girl once refused entry to a store because of the mask she wore during the pandemic received a generous gift of free ear surgery Friday in Beverly Hills after the doctor heard his story.
A year ago, Alexis LaGrega was refused entry to a Staten Island Disney store because she was wearing a neck warmer instead of a surgical mask, her family said.
The store told Alexis to leave, even after her mother explained that she had a birth defect called Microtia and did not have a fully formed right ear, making her unable to wear face masks with loops. .
A Disney spokesperson told PIX11 after the incident:
“We are always focused on the health and safety of our Cast Members and Guests. Across all of our Disney Stores, we have implemented a number of enhanced measures, including a face covering requirement. In these times unprecedented, we all have a shared responsibility to do our part.We regret if guests are disappointed.
Walt Disney World’s face mask guidelines, which applied in its stores, stated that neck warmers were “not acceptable face coverings” when the PIX11 article was written.
The Small Wonders Foundation, which helps children born with facial differences undergo reconstructive surgery, heard Alexis’ story and contacted her to give her a right ear that was attached.
Two weeks ago, Dr. John Reinisch, a pediatric plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, performed the operation.
“It was weird but cool at the same time,” Alexis said of her reaction to the first time she saw her new ear on Friday.
Reinisch explained that the new ear comes from a polyethylene mold covered with tissue taken from under the scalp. The swelling should subside within a few months, Reinisch said.
Holly LaGrega, Alexis’ mother, said she never thought this day would come.
“It’s mind-blowing,” her mother said. “You hear about families where these things happen. I never thought this would happen for us.”
Alexis will soon be able to buckle a mask around his ears.
“I’m happy,” Alexis said. “Like really happy.”