VIRGINIA BEACH,Va - A Virginia Beach missionary spent ten years tracking down abadly burned orphan girl in Ukraine. On Wednesday, that girl had alife changing surgery in Norfolk.
Galina is still at the age between a young woman and a child,when swing sets are still fun, and talking about boys is a bitembarrasing.
She's self conscious of the scars beneath her headscarf. Noone really knows how Galina was burned, nor does Galina herself.She was burned at a very young age, and being an orphan has lefther with many unanswered questions.
The burns have left her bald over half of her head and one eardeformed. While many turn away from the painful sight, missionaryVincent Rosini of Virginia Beach was drawn in by it.
"What was striking about it was the severity of the burn and thebeauty of the child's face. It was such a contrast to me. She wasso cute," Rosini said.
Galina was about two-years-old when Rosini first saw her in thesummer of 1999. She was sitting in squalor on the streets ofUkraine, begging with a gypsy woman. Rosini offered to get hermedical help, but once he found it, he'd lost contact with thegirl.
"I went back in December and coudn't find her. I had peoplelooking in shelters, train stations, they couldnt' find her,"Rosini explained.
Rosini continued his work in orphanages, returning several timesa year - always searching for the young girl he so badly wanted tohelp.
"It was very very frustrating for me because I feltresponsible," he said.
Her face haunted him as he continued to wonder what had becomeof the girl on the streets. Then, in January 2009, a Ukrainianstranger approached him. She needed medical help for a child.Rosini couldn't believe it -- 10 years later he'd found the girl helonged to help.
"I could not believe it, ten years later I found this girl!"Rosini said.
Rosini brought Galina to Children's Hospital Of The King'sDaughters in Norfolk. Three months ago, doctors put two balloonlike tissue expanders into her skull. On Wednesday afternoon,surgeons removed them and gave her a new head of hair.
Dr. George Hoer said, "We want to take that scalp once it'sstretched out and pull it over to cover up the burned scalp." Onceit's done, he said, her head will return to its normal shape andnew hair will grow normally.
Rosini hopes Galina will find a new confidence. He plans to goback to work in the orphanages with one less face to haunt him.
Vincent Rosini runs a non-profit called Frontier Horizon ( www.frontierhorizon.org/) in Virginia Beach.
He brings orphans from Ukraine and Nicaragua here as exchange students twice a year.
Many are up for adoption.
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