6-year-old Carlos, who had spine implant surgery last fall, returned for a rod lengthening procedure.
The Mustique Charitable Foundation funded a World Pediatric Project scoiiosis/spinal repair team to St. Vincent in November 2016.
Scoliosis-specific team mobilization is rare given the complexity of this type of surgery and the costs associated with the necessary spine hardware implants, typically $50-$60k in cost per patient.
65 children received diagnostic evaluations
9 children scheduled for surgery with the most complex or those traveling the furthest being scheduled for the earliest surgery slots.
Children and their families came from throughout St. Vincent as well as from further distances in the region. They’ve been prepared in advance to bring their needed medical records and x-rays to allow the WPP team to work efficiently during clinic day.
Junelle was so happy when she learned World Pediatric Project’s spine repair team was scheduled to travel to St. Vincent and that she had been accepted for surgery. A slender 14-year-old teenager, Junelle’s severe 78-degree spine curvature was not only physically detrimental, but also socially devastating. For Junelle, this surgery meant the end of an era of being teased and ashamed that she did not look like everyone else.
While Junelle was all smiles the day she was admitted to MCMH, her mother felt the normal nervous emotions of family members prior to surgery. Her fears were relieved upon hearing the happy news of the successful surgery and her “baby girl” was doing great.
Junelle was upright and walking the next day, and her mother could not wait to have a photo of the fabulous doctors that took such good care of her cherished daughter.
18-year-old Delroy is charming, polite, and very brave. He arrived for clinic day and his probable surgery without any family accompanying him. Perhaps his older age also contributed to the many questions and fears he exhibited before his surgery day.
Being there without a parent, he clung to WPP Country Director, Jackie King as a mother figure to him during the week.
After his successful spine repair surgery, everyone, in- cluding family members of other patients, helped look after him.
He was exuberant with his gratitude and relief that the surgery was over and pain was manageable.
WPP Surgical Team
Chris Pinney, Medtronic Spine rep., explaining the spine system hardware to Lavinia Gunn & Simon Carey
Linda Harrier and mother looking at the VEPTR rod system that is in Carlos’ back
Linda Harrier with patient Carlos
The extreme spine curvature of a WPP patient, typical of the severity of scoliosis
The WPP's Walking Tall Project initiative addresses this condition for more than a dozen patients each year
Some of the beautiful children helped during the week