Disfigured boy ready for second surgery

ALYSSA NOEL, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:38 AM ET

EDMONTON - Maddox Flynn will get a special visit from an Edmonton Oilers player before he goes into his second and final facial surgery in New York city Monday.

Gilbert Brule, who donated $10,000 to the family last month after hearing about their plight, has decided to visit the Big Apple the same time Maddox goes in for surgery.

"(Brule) is a really nice guy," said Nicole Champagne, Maddox's mom. "He's kept in contact with us ... He was taking a personal vacation and he wanted to work it so we were in New York at the same time."

While both Champagne and Maddox's father, Mike Flynn, are big Oilers fans, Maddox, 2, who loves hockey, is excited about the prospect of meeting a professional.

"He loves hockey. He plays in the apartment with hockey sticks. I've been talking to him saying, 'You're going to meet a professional hockey player.' He's excited," Champagne said.

There are no definite plans yet, but they might meet up in Central Park.

"We'll probably go down to Central Park because I want Maddox to have fun before he goes into surgery," she added.

Brule, who leaves for the city on Thursday with his girlfriend, said he's just hoping to brighten Maddox's day a little.

"When I heard he was going back for another surgery ... I thought, 'We might as well go there when he's there and make a trip of it,'" he said. "Hopefully I can help his day out a little bit and bring him some gifts."

Maddox made headlines in May after his family went public with their story. The boy was born with lymphatic cystic hygroma which left him with massive growths on the left side of his face.

Doctors here told them there was nothing they could do, but the family found a specialist in New York willing to help.

The only problem was the $50,000 bill attached.

After sharing their story, money poured in from around the world.

Maddox's first surgery to remove the mass around his eye went well, though the family had to fly back to New York for treatment after Maddox accidently pulled out his drainage tube.

Champagne is hopeful Monday's surgery will be just as successful.

This time, doctors will remove the mass on his cheek, reconstruct his mouth, nose and eyelid so it can open and close.

"This is a major surgery," she said. "If there's no complications we might have to only go back once for some touch-ups "_ Of course we're nervous, but I'm confident in Dr. (Milton) Waner. I've never met a doctor like him before."

The family leaves for New York on Saturday morning.

alyssa.noel@sunmedia.ca


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