Dear parents of children needing plastic surgery,

My daughter, Emily, was born with an ear lobe for a left ear and had no hearing in it as the ear drum never fully developed and never opened. She was horribly ridiculed throughout elementary school because she was not like everyone else. We moved from El Paso, Texas, to Gaithersburg, Maryland, because of the exemplary record of Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC.

We went in for an appointment with Michael Boyajian, MD, to see what he could do with the unfortunate defects in my child. He made my daughter, who was eight or nine at the time, feel extremely comfortable in such a dreadful and scary place for both Emily and me. He made her laugh and she was in complete understanding of the surgery to come.

He took half of one of her ribs and a skin graft off of her lower left hip to construct the ear that she never had. It looked, and still does, look great! The surgery went really well. However, it was really hard for me to put the life of my daughter into a stranger's hands. He ensured me that the surgery should go well, and that my daughter would be able to leave the hospital in about three days.

The surgery did go well as planned and she is 17 now; hardly anyone notices the difference in the two ears because of how marvelous the job was done. Dr. Boyajian will forever be in our hearts as he has done the unforgettable for my daughter's life. He made her feel normal and accepted in the very harsh world surrounding us.

If you are worried about leaving the life of your child in a doctor's hands, don't worry. There were no issues and the follow-ups after the surgery were happy and filled with joy due to the outcome of what Dr. Boyjian did for my family. Even after the surgery when we had to rest Emily, it was a very pleasant experience. They let her play and have fun and eat (her favorite thing to do) without any trouble at all. We love Dr. Boyajian and the Children's National Medical Center.


Emily's mother, Nancy



Video: Introduction to the Parent's Letter Project

The Parent's Letter Project lets Children's National Medical Center parents whose children have faced medical crises use their experience to support others.

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