PEOPLE [Real Story Film] Finding the Lost Smile in Korea, Treating the giant cell reparative granuloma of Flangie 2022.11.29



Flangie, who lives in a rural village in Africa, was called "a child with a gruesome lump" or "a haunted child."

It was because of the 15cm face-sized tumor protruding from his mouth.


At the age of eight, inflammation began to occur in Flangie’s molar area which gradually grew into a gruesome tumor.

There was no proper medical facility to treat Flange in the village where there was no access to electricity and depended on fire light.

Due to people's neglect and bullying, Flange left school before he even learned to write.


Flangie spent about 10 years without hope.


It was Dr. Jae-hoon Lee, a medical missionary working in Madagascar, who discovered Flangie.

He inquired several Korean hospitals to treat Flangie, and Asan Medical Center and Asan Foundation readily responded.

Dr. Lee was the ASAN Award winner in Medical Services in 2018.


With this good news, Dr. Lee asked Flangie if he could go to a faraway country and have a difficult operation.

Flangie answered without hesitation.

"I want to try anything even if it risks my life."

Flangie, at the age of 22, made a belated birth registration while preparing to go to Korea.


The giant cell reparative granuloma of Flangie is a rare disease, known to occur in one out of every 1 million people.

Flangie was so thin and undernourished that it was impossible to even go under general anesthesia.


Professor Jong-Woo Choi of the Department of Plastic Surgery asked Flangie to eat diligently and build up his physical strength before surgery.

Two weeks later, the Department of Plastic Surgery, Department of Dentistry, and Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery collaborated to remove tumors and transplant leg bones, blood vessels, and skin to the neck.


The treatment goal was to rebuild Flange's body and mind and restore his daily life.

After eight hours of major surgery, the place where the ‘lump’ was smooth.


Flangie wished to return to his hometown and learn how to write and become a missionary, delivering hope to people in need like him.

Still a little bit awkward, but a definite smile spread on Flangie’s face.


[Real Story, Sharing Hope]