After brain tumor, this 6-year-old girl is defying the odds on the road to recovery

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Friday, March 29, 2024
Family overjoyed after daughter overcomes brain tumor
Lauren Glassberg has the heartwarming story from Valhalla, New York.

VALHALLA, New York (WABC) -- At just 6-years-old, a little girl is already defying odds.

Hailee Guzman is thriving just a few weeks after having a brain tumor removed.

Last June, she was diagnosed with a benign tumor after her parents noticed she was extremely lethargic.

As it turned out, the tumor was in a part of her brain responsible for alertness and motor skills.

After undergoing two brain surgeries, it was safely removed and she was moved to Blythedale Children's Hospital.

From there, she began a long road to recovery.

"When Haley came to us for rehab, she was awake but not able to respond consistently to her environment yet," said Dr. William Watson, Director of Neuropsychology.

For six months, she rehabbed and relearned how to do just about everything: standing, walking, eating, and talking.

"When she talked, her voice, it was just amazing to hear," said her mother Maria Ruiz. "It just broke me down in tears for not hearing her voice in five months."

She made so much progress, and now she attends first grade at the hospital's on-site school.

"Now she's not in a wheelchair, and she walks, talks and she eats food," said her father Willie Guzman-Ayala. "We're happy with the progress."

It's been a long journey for a little girl.

"She's got all the building blocks and continuing to make progress every day," said Dr. Watson.

Her family remains both thankful and optimistic.

"There's more ahead and I know with blessing above, we will get through this," said Ruiz.

There's no stopping her.