Renita Pop was born in August of 2000 in a remote Mayan village in the Toledo District of Belize. Due to her spina bifida condition, however, she was incontinent and unable to walk. Caring for a child with such challenging conditions proved too much for her mother.
Stories from the Field
16-year-old José had been through a lot in his life. Born with multiple heart issues including a ventricular septal defect, José had heart surgery to repair his fragile heart when he was 4 years old. It was then that he was also diagnosed with severe scoliosis. This type of surgery was not available in his country and he needed to come to the United States for treatment. José arrived in Milwaukee in August of 2017 to have surgery at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
For nearly four decades, Healing the Children has been dedicated to the Medical Teams Abroad Program, offering life changing surgeries and procedures to children around the world who otherwise would never receive these much needed treatments. Our teams are committed to long term relationships helping to develop the medical skills and resources of our partners.
Healing the Children Rocky Mountains returned to the government hospital Dos de Mayo in Lima, Peru for the 6th time. The reach of our team continues to grow each year. Many patients are babies, and it is truly miraculous how a 90 minute cleft lip or palate surgery can offer a child a hope at a normal life as these children are often bullied and not allowed to attend school in Peru.
Dr. John Huntington, a Grand Rapids anesthesiologist, was in Honduras on a mission trip when he encountered a very malnourished little boy with a cleft lip and palate. That was the moment hope arrived for Isaac Cabrera, just two months old at that time.
It was clear that Gael needed help and it was agreed that, though he was only 9.3 kilos, he would be strong enough to withstand surgery and his speech, ability to eat solids and appearance would all benefit greatly.
At two years old and all smiles, Gift Mewali is just that, a gift. Gift was born with a hole in her heart and no one to fix it. "It's too long of a wait for them to get care," said Debi McDonald, Executive Director for the Kentucky chapter of Healing the Children who helped bring Gift to the U.S. for care.
Leyan was born with Aspert syndrome, a rare genetic defect in which the skull and facial bones are under-developed. A Louisville doctor was providing free neurological care to kids in Palestine. That's when he met Leyan at a clinic. "Leyan was in a tough spot," Dr. Mutchnick said." her brain was growing, but her skull wasn't."