(DURHAM, N.C.) — Mical Olaiz and her American Girl doll Mia now share one more similarity besides their beautiful, brown hair, thanks to the doctors at Duke Children’s Hospital.
On June 1, Mical, 5, of Durham, North Carolina, was surprised when she and her mother, Lara Husary, traveled to the hospital to pick up Mia.
Before their arrival, surgeons had performed a 15-minute surgery on the doll, leaving it with a scar similar to the one Mical has. When hospital staff presented Mical with the doll, she removed the bandage.
“She has a scar just like me!” Mical told ABC News.
Mical was born with a rare heart defect. Since birth, she’s endured three major open-heart surgeries. But, while her surgeries were successful, they left her with a long, vertical scar on her chest.
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So, her care team at Duke Children’s Hospital came up with an idea: They offered to “operate” on Mia, her beloved American Girl doll.
Mical signed off on the operation.
“Maybe it will make her feel more comfortable with her own scar and the fact that she has been through heart surgery because that’s a stressful thing for a kid, especially as they get older. They probably start to focus a little bit more on their own body image,” said Dr. Andrew Lodge, who performed the procedure on Mia.
On the day after, Mical had celebrated her fifth birthday, she and her mother went to pick up Mia. The hospital staff said Mical was given instructions on how to care for Mia postsurgery.
Husary said Mical has an expansive doctor’s kit at home and wants to be a doctor when she grows up.
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