Dear friend, I'm honored to have the opportunity to write to you and share my experience volunteering my time to travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to photograph World Pediatric Project's second ever scoliosis mission there. I'm left with unbelievable memories and countless new friends I hope to visit again at some time in the future. The all-volunteer team, led by Dr. Chester Sharps from Bon Secours Richmond, Virginia, performed 11 complicated but life-changing surgeries and evaluated nearly 70 children from St. Vincent, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and Grenada. Eight of the procedures were spinal fusion surgeries to heal children suffering from scoliosis. Dr. Sharps explained to me that scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, is a debilitating condition that in many cases threatens the everyday lives of young patients, as well as the financial health of their families. If left untreated, scoliosis tragically impacts a child's quality of life through poor health, limited mobility and embarrassment caused by social ostracism. Now that I've met these children and their families in person and heard their stories while sharing hugs and tears, I truly understand the important of WPP's work. In addition, seeing these children walk tall and straight at the end of the mission after successful surgeries made me realize that this team may be trained as physicians, surgeons, nurses and technicians - but for 8 days in November in St. Vincent - they were angels performing God's workwith unselfish and amazing grace, love, care, skill and compassion. Thank you for YOUR role in making this mission possible. Tom Veazey, WPP volunteer photographer Tom Veazey Photography
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