EL PASO, Texas - Dr. Vernon Burke has been presented a National Humanitarianism Award by The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) for the care he has provided to children and others from El Paso and Ciudad Juarez with facial deformities.
Burke works at High Desert Oral and Facial Surgery in El Paso and has a clinic at the FEMAP Hospital in Juarez, Mexico.
Among those Burke has helped is 25-year-old Giselle Baca of El Paso, who is one of about 100 people worldwide with type 2 primordial dwarfism.
The young lady explained to ABC-7 that people with her unique condition often have problems with their teeth.
"They were really small and the point is that since we have this syndrome, it makes your teeth fall out. Like my roots didn’t really have roots, they were just staying on by their own. Most of the time we did have to cut the food into small pieces just to avoid having to break a tooth," she said.
Burke knew he could help her but needed to have a game plan for the surgery.
"It was challenging because of her small stature. The (surgical) appliances aren't meant for people in her size," he explained.
After a successful surgery, Baca told ABC-7 that she now has greater self-confidence because she can smile.