A young child born with a massive disfiguring tumor covering the left side of her face is back at her Montana home after receiving her latest surgery to remove it.
Joe and Jennifer McGillis returned home from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City after their child, Sloan, received the care she desperately needed.
Sloan was diagnosed with a hemangioma when she was born. The sheer size of the non-cancerous tumor was already affecting Sloan's facial nerves and muscles.
“They handed her to me," Jennifer told Inside Edition as she recalled the first moment she saw her baby with the tumor. "I went into shock at that point.”
Joe echoed the sentiment, saying, "I had about a minute of panic terror."
The family recently went to New York City with their 2-year-old so she could undergo her ninth and 10th operations. The final operation helped remove the scars from her face.
Dr. Milton Waner of the Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York performed the operations on Sloan. He specializes in hemangioma and malformations.
Before a procedure she had at 10 months old, Inside Edition tracked the family's time with Dr. Waner as he mapped out the position of Sloan’s facial nerves and muscles to avoid damaging them before the five-hour surgery.
“We've removed most of the tumor, the nerve is intact. The smile muscle is intact,” he told Inside Edition following the procedure.
After Sloan returned to her mom and dad to recover in the hospital, Jennifer said: “For being a tiny baby she handles it all amazingly. She's not scared.”
For more than a year, Inside Edition has followed baby Sloan's progress.
A special treat for the family was meeting ESPN anchor Hannah Storm during a trip to New York following an operation when Sloan was 14 months old.
“I was born with a port wine birthmark stain on my face. Without makeup, even to this day [it] looks like a black eye,” Storm said.
Storm has set up a foundation which is giving financial support to families like Sloan’s.
Jennifer calls her daughter a “miracle” and is happy now that Sloan "has a chance at a better life."