An Iraqi infant with a severe birth defect began her journey to the United States on Friday - a trip where she may undergo life-saving surgery and which the US soldier who spearheaded the effort hopes will change Iraqi attitudes and "expose them to Christianity."
Noor al-Zahra, who is 3 months old, and her family took off Friday in a military transport plane from a Baghdad airport on the first leg of a trip to Atlanta where she will receive be evaluated for possible surgery to treat a life-threatening birth defect.
Noor - also known as "Baby Noor" - was discovered by US troops three weeks ago during a raid on a house in Abu Ghraib, the poverty-stricken district west of Baghdad.
Soldiers noticed paralysis in the baby's legs and what appeared to be a tumor on her back, said Debbie Stone, an Atlanta-area social worker.
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