Greeting from the Philippines!
On February 2nd, we began our first trip to the Tebow Cure Hospital in Davao city. We escorted four children and their parents for surgery which will give them hope to walk and improve their lives. Our patients were brothers Jiu (15 years), Jairus (10 years), Ryan Paul (7 years), and Angel Marie (4 years), each suffers from cerebral palsy to various degrees.
Sunday afternoon we joined Jiu and Jairus at their home in Siquijor where we travelled to the port of Larena and ferried to Dumaguete. In Dumaguete, we met with Ryan Paul, Angel Marie and their mothers for a light dinner and escorted them back to the Dumaguete port. From there, we boarded the mid-night ferry to Cebu. We arrived in Cebu on Monday around seven in the morning and took a shuttle to the airport to eat breakfast and catch our flight to Davao. We arrived in Davao around two in the afternoon and were picked up by one of our partners and shuttled to the Tebow Cure Hospital for check in. All went well and all our patients were in their rooms by three o’clock. Later that evening, each child was examined in preparation for surgery.
On Tuesday, Dr. Valera began performing surgery on our children, Angel Marie was first starting at eight o’clock and followed by Ryan Paul, then Jairus and then Jiu. By four o’clock all the children were finished with their procedures and were back in their rooms, much to the relief of their parents. There were a few minor complications during surgery and recovery, but nothing of great significance and all the procedures were successful. Angel Marie and Ryan Paul were laughing and playing by days end, Jiu and Jairus took a little longer as they had their procedures later in the day and their surgeries were more complex.
Follow-up and Return Travel
All the children spent Wednesday and Thursday in the hospital, and all were checked out on Friday. Due to the complexity of their surgeries and the need for follow up visits at the hospital, Jiu and Jairus are required to remain in Davao for five to six weeks. They were transported to a local non-profit agency for care and housing during this period and this agency will also transport them for follow up visits with the hospital. We are anticipating that the medical staff will soon be removing their surgical casts and support rods and fit the boys with walking casts so they may become mobile and be able to travel back to Siquijor in mid-March. We have kept in touch with Jiu and Jairus’ parents and have had to assist them with some healing concerns. Thanks to Tebow hospital for being so responsive and assisting the families with these problems. We hope to finalize plans for their return home in the next couple of weeks.
Ryan Paul and Angel Marie spent Friday night at the hospital and were moved to a hotel on Saturday. We took them to a local mall which they enjoyed very much! On Sunday morning, we caught an early flight back to Cebu City. From there, we took a five-hour shuttle ride to Santander port where we took a short ferry ride back to Dumaguete. Ryan Paul and Angel were reunited with their families and went home to prepare for school on Monday. In the upcoming weeks we will be taking them to a local surgeon to have all their casts removed so they can resume physical therapy. We will keep you posted on their progress.
We want to say Thank You to all our donors for making these life changing procedures possible for these needy children and families!