Afghan girl receives life-changing surgery


Late last month, a 6-year-old girl from Afghanistan received surgery at South Nassau Communities Hospital to help her breathe normally after injuries she received from being shot in the face by Taliban insurgents more than a year ago.

The girl, Marzieh (only her first name was given for safety concerns), underwent two hours of surgery performed by Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, part of Mission Restore.

Mission Restore is a medical organization that provides plastic and reconstructive surgery to those in need both here and around the world.

“What we do is provide free education and care for the forgotten patients in the world,” Alizadeh said. “And that’s mostly people affected by war, trauma and disaster scenarios that have no access to medical care.”

Marzieh was injured more than a year ago when she was traveling with her father and brother in Afghanistan when they were ambushed by the Taliban. The Taliban shot and killed her father and brother. Marzieh was hidden by her brother’s feet in the car. The insurgents shot her in the face and left her for dead.

“She was extremely lucky that the bullet went through the left cheek and out the eyeball and didn’t damage her brain, but it destroyed the airway of her nose,” Alizadeh explained. “She lost her right eye as well as the airway to the nose.”

Marzieh was brought to the United States for surgery through the efforts of the Global Medical Relief Fund. Alizadeh, president of the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, performed the surgery for free.

Alizadeh opened up the airways in Marzieh’s nose, allowing her to breathe normally again. He also grafted skin from her ears to cover up the scarring on her nose. She is being fitted with a prosthetic eye before she returns to Afghanistan in about a week.

For more information about Mission Restore, visit