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Postal worker, surgeon help give girl new ear

February 16, 2011 12:38:00 AM PST
Christmas is long over, but a letter to Santa helped a Compton mother's dream for her young daughter come true. All it took was a concerned postal worker and a generous surgeon to make the Christmas wish become a reality.

Maya Worthey was desperate to help her young daughter Shimaya, who was born deaf and without an ear. She wrote a letter to Santa Claus.

"Dear Santa, my name is Maya Worthey, and I am a 26 year old mother," Worthey wrote in the letter. "Shimaya asked me, 'Mommy, where's my ear.'"

Worthy said she wanted to do something after she heard kids and parents teasing and gawking at her daughter. But she never imagined her letter would get a response.

Her letter landed in the hands of Beverly Young, a postal worker who decided that the letter to Santa needed to be answered.

"I told all of my employees, 'Please call every hospital in this town to ask them if they will do a surgery pro bono for us,'" Young said.

Young coordinates Operation Santa in Los Angeles and responds to Dear Santa letters. She managed to get in contact with the right people.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Leif Rogers agreed to do the surgery free of charge.

"Most doctors really are giving people. We're here really to take care of the people around us to make the world a better place," Rogers said.

Rogers will work on both of Shimaya's ears, making the right ear larger and reconstructing the left. The surgery will not correct Shimaya's hearing problem, but for Shimaya and her family, the fact that will be able to wear earrings and not feel like she is different is more than they could have asked for.

"I felt like my prayers have been answered," Worthey said.