Casey is a long-time World Pediatric Project patient who suffers from spina bifida, a condition that prevents many children from ever learning how to walk . . . but Casey has never been one to take no for an answer!
We first met Casey in 2007 when he and his mother traveled to Richmond for emergency neurosurgery a few weeks after he was born. Since then, Casey has been followed closely by World Pediatric Project teams that travel to the Eastern Caribbean. Last year, thanks to the generosity of friends like you, WPP physiotherapist Kim Wesdock was able to create small leg braces for Casey to help stabilize his ankles and calves, allowing him to stand on his own for the first time ever! Kim hoped that with physical therapy Casey would eventually be able to walk on his own.
In June, when a World Pediatric Project team arrived in St. Vincent, they were greeted with a beautiful sight… Casey was not only standing on his own, but was walking as well! Thank you for making this truly life-changing miracle possible for Casey, his family, and for our medical volunteers!
International Hospital for Children is now World Pediatric Project! Our mission of providing critical pediatric care to children in developing countries remains the same, but our new name reflects our action-oriented mission. Visit our new website to learn more: www.worldpediatricproject.org
Recently, one more child benefited from your generosity!
The largest, most complicated case completed on World Pediatric Project's recent surgical and diagnostic trip to St. Vincent & the Grenadines was a complete hip disarticulation performed by Drs. Woods and Tuten on 15-year-old Kamara. Kamara and her mother first traveled to the U.S. in 2006 for treatment of a neurofibromatosis growth on her leg. In 2010 the tumor returned aggressively and was threatening her life. After seeking consult from all of her Richmond physicians, amputation was the consensus.
On Monday of the mission, Dr. Woods and Dr. Tuten performed a long procedure to remove Kamara’s leg at the hip joint and do their best to remove the tumor that had spread into her pelvis. After only 2 days in recovery, Kamara was up, moving around, and learning how to maneuver on one leg with her crutches. Past World Pediatric Project patient Aaron spent time visiting with Kamara and providing encouragement and words of support. Kamara continues to recover in the hospital and inspires all around her with her strength, optimism and determination.
Destin received surgery to repair muscular deformities in his hamstrings and Achilles tendons this time last year, thanks to your generous support. International Hospital for Children volunteer pediatric surgeons recently traveled back to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and had the opportunity to follow-up with past surgical patients such as Destin. Check out how happy he is in these photos, now able to walk normally!
Destin's mother also sent us a sweet, two-page note. Here is just a small excerpt:
“When Destin was little, we noticed his mobility was getting worse and worse until he was creeping around on all fours. One day during a consultation, our doctor told us about the IHC program to assist needy children and gave us the contact information for Sister Jackie King. As soon as we got in contact with Jackie, she told us not to worry, we will be well taken care of, and she meant every word. This was truly a great breakthrough after nine years of prayers and tears . . .”
Thank you for helping Destin receive the life-changing surgery he needed to live a full and productive life!
Aaron had spent his life struggling with the burden of an unfused hip - - blood flow in his hip and leg was not being facilitated properly. Over time, Aaron’s symptoms worsened and it became more and more difficult for him to maneuver the hilly landscape of St. Vincent.
Aaron was full of hope and expectation when joint specialist Dr. Fred McGlynn joined the IHC surgical team in St. Vincent last November. Aaron would finally have the opportunity for a total hip replacement and to live a normal life.
Just before entering the operating room, he exclaimed to IHC nurses “I’m just so happy to be here!”
Aaron sailed through post surgical recovery and, thanks to your support of IHC’s volunteer orthopedic team, continues to do well in St. Vincent. He has even become an active member of the Dove Club, a group of past IHC patients who provide social support for current patients. Aaron greets incoming surgical teams when they arrive on St. Vincent and provides guidance to children preparing for surgery.
With the help of your continued generosity, IHC’s surgical orthopedic team will travel to St. Vincent again this November to provide follow-up care for patients like Aaron and provide surgical treatment for newly identified patients. I look forward to sharing additional progress reports with you as well as stories of children healed because of your kindness.
Did you know there are no pediatric orthopedic surgeons in St. Vincent or the surrounding region? A child with an orthopedic disease or deformity has no hope for receiving care without International Hospital for Children and would suffer and be unable to live full lives. Many would never have full mobility. Your generous support has sent hope and healing to these children by helping us mobilize IHC's volunteer pediatric orthopedic surgeons. Just one of these children is 8-month-old Briandel who recently had surgery to correct club feet. On behalf of children like Briandel who will grow up to walk normally, thank you!
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