The mother of an Edmonton toddler with a rare facial deformity is hoping that a surgeon in New York City can repair more than just her son’s swollen face.

Protecting the two-year-old boy’s loving, sensitive heart is really at the core of why Nicole Champagne hopes that one day her son, Maddox, looks like every other child.

The family was back at a hospital in the United States yesterday as Maddox received a second operation to repair a huge swelling on his left cheek and mouth. In May, Dr. Milton Waner, co-director of the Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Centre, removed a large growth that had closed the boy’s left eye.

“He looks very, very good right now,” Waner said yesterday. “I don’t think his parents recognized him.”

Maddox’s malformation, called lymphatic cystic hygroma, caused large tumours to form on the left side of his face.

Yesterday’s surgery was to remove the growth, which has been preventing the toddler from learning to speak. Jeff Jacomowitz, spokesman for St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, said the operation was highly successful, but it’s likely a third will be needed.