Dateline   |  January 06, 2014

'Second Chances' part 5

The decisions have been made and the calls are coming in. Which teens will be chosen for surgery?

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the foundation that treats children with facial deformities finished evaluating these four cases.

>> hello?

>> hello, renata ?

>> yeah?

>> my name is diane, and i'm with the little babyface foundation.

>> reporter: renata had been waiting anxiously for months, thinking a straighter, smaller nose would silence her bullies and improve her self-confidence.

>> i am looking at your beautiful picture that you sent us, and i just read the beautiful letter that you wrote. i want to invite you to come to new york to see if we can help you.

>> are you serious?

>> very serious.

>> oh, my god, thank you so much.

>> you're welcome.

>> you made me so happy.

>> i'm glad you're happy. i can see you smiling right through the phone. that was great. it feels great. she's going to come out great, too.

>> i am so happy! oh, my gosh!

>> i can't believe you're going.

>> i can't believe it. that is awesome.

>> reporter: next, connor . his friends promised to stop making fun of his nose, but will the foundation offer to fix it?

>> i have a doctor who's going to work on your cleft lip , and i have another doctor, thomas romo , who's going to do your nose.

>> thank you.

>> you are welcome. all right. let me talk to your mom so i can explain all this.

>> children that are born with cleft lips, they also have a cleft lip /nose deformity, and they look like connor . so connor 's nose, it wasn't just so much it was big, but his accept item was obstructing his left airway, and the arch of his nose was totally undersupported.

>> what are you thinking about?

>> new york and how i'll look after surgery and everything.

>> i was wondering what he was thinking because he wasn't saying much. i'm sure he was pretty happy.

>> good, son. i'm so happy for you.

>> reporter: then donovan's turn. he asked the foundation for a more prominent chin. but mom thinks he should keep his head up instead.

>> how are you?

>> pretty good. pretty good.

>> i know that you were bullied because of your chin. but i want to tell you something. when i look at this application, i see this handsome 16-year-old guy. and from the pictures that you sent me, it really just looks like you need a very minor cosmetic procedure. and it really doesn't fall under our mission statement for the babyface foundation.

>> okay.

>> it's a pretty big disappointment. i guess i can live with it.

>> reporter: what was it about him that made you not select him?

>> i really felt that his case was cosmetic and that other children had more severe issues than his.

>> reporter: donovan's mom hopes her son will bounce back.

>> you have to do a lot of inner soul searching to find that part of you that gives you strength.

>> reporter: and finally, cheyenne .

>> cheyenne ?

>> reporter: she's tried to correct her eyes through surgeries before. though she's learned to accept the way she looks, her mom decided to give it one more try.

>> this is a difficult case. i'm still looking at that beautiful face, but i'm just trying to figure out how our doctors could take care of you.

>> reporter: diane told cheyenne her eyes would not be easy to fix, but she also told her --

>> here she is.

>> reporter: -- to pack her bags.

>> i just explained to her, we've been trying to figure out what we could do to help. that the only way that we'll know is to invite you to new york for a couple of days and then make a plan.

>> okay.

>> reporter: opening a closed door can sometimes be overwhelming.

>> that would be wonderful.

>> don't cry because if you cry, i cry. if i cry, my mascara goes, forget it, we're done.

>> thank you so much.

>> this is the best part about my job, making this phone call .

>> reporter: how do you feel when your mom gets emotional about --

>> i don't like it.

>> reporter: you don't?

>> no.

>> reporter: how come?

>> because, i mean, there's no reason.

>> reporter: welcome to new york . renata went directly to her presurgery appointment with dr. romo .

>> and what we're going to do is we're going to straighten that accept it septum out and take this little thing down and make this whole thing smaller, okay?

>> thank you so much.

>> renata , once you pinned her hair back, had a diagnosis of what's called a hemi facial microsomial. half her face is smaller than the other side. and that's why this nose is leaning to the left.

>> reporter: is that an unusual thing?

>> it's actually not that unusual. it just doesn't get treated that often. we make a little poke hole here.

>> reporter: then he unveiled his treatment plan.

>> so it will balance her face.

>> reporter: and it involved more than just a nose job . he recommended a new chin as well.

>> and it's just something i've been thinking about that we think, something we may want to do.

>> reporter: wow! we're pointing out something else that she wasn't even worried about.

>> when someone comes in to me about a nose problem, i pin their hair up because i want to look at the whole face. the nose, the eyes, the lips, the jaw bone all have an interrelation.

>> chin. do you understand what he was talking about?

>> yeah. i noticed that.

>> what are you thinking about that?

>> it's a big decision.

>> it's a huge decision.

>> i don't know. what would be better.

>> you don't have to -- if you don't want to change anything else, you don't have to.

>> reporter: if you looked at me and you were to say to me, hoda, that chin. and i might say, i think i'm fine with my chin. i promise you, dr. romo , every time i look in the mirror for the next five years, i'd be looking at my chin because a doctor says there's an issue with it. she's a vulnerable kid. she's going to do whatever you say, period.

>> it's the doctor's responsibility to point those out. i know when they're going to have a more successful result.

>> reporter: cheyenne spent a full day seeing specialists. at the end of it, dr. romo reported what sounded like disappointing news.

>> and your eyelids could physically be brought up higher. the problem is, you wouldn't be able to close them. we couldn't make her eyes actually larger. we couldn't pull her eyelids too tight because we had to close them.

>> reporter: but dr. romo still saw a surgical solution. instead of operating on cheyenne 's eyes, dr. romo recommended a nose job and pinning her ears.

>> one of the ways to make the eyes look bigger is to make the nose smaller and deflect the look of where the ears are.

>> reporter: it seems like it's additional surgery and work that will change the way your daughter looks.

>> first of all, i'm concerned about any surgery.

>> reporter: yeah.

>> you know, that's concerning. i leave the ultimate decision up to cheyenne because it's her body.

>> reporter: mm-hmm. what do you feel?

>> you know, i'm beautiful, but some things you need to change to make yourself even more happy.

>> reporter: during connor 's evaluation, dr. romo also recommended a new chin to go with the new nose. connor and his mom agreed.

>> see how the chin, bringing that out just a bit, it opens the face up.

>> reporter: renata decided to take dr. romo 's advice, too.

>> well, i decided that i'm going to get the nose and the chin done. i thought i'd just trust him because he knows what he's doing.

>> this is the big moment.

>> see you later .

>> okay?

>> reporter: as they headed into surgery, all three imagined sweet dreams .

>> sweet dreams .

>> reporter: not for when they close their eyes but for when they open them again.