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Healing the Children

Renita from Belize


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.

Renita came to the attention of Mary & Steve Tracy in 2005 while they were visiting another Belizean child who had been assisted by Healing the Children Northeast. The Tracy’s arranged for Renita to be cared for by Victor and Rosalia Cal, their longtime friends in Punta Gorda. Renita received medical attention and physical therapy at the nearby Hillside Clinic. She enrolled in school and learned to ride a bicycle. But although she eventually learned to walk, doctors concluded that her labored gait could not be sustained into adulthood. Without medical intervention, she would eventually be wheelchair bound for the rest of her life.

Renita's treatment

During the summer of 2017, Renita was brought to the United States by HTCNE’s International Inbound Program and accepted for care by Dr. Robert Cristofaro and the Children’s Hospital at the Westchester Medical Center in New York.

Following extensive surgery on both of her legs, Renita’s lower extremities are now more normally positioned and she is able to walk with the assistance of leg braces.

Renita returned to Belize in February of 2018, where she resides once again with the Cal family. She has resumed her schooling and will be attending the 3rd Form at the local high school this fall. She remains profoundly grateful for the difference that Dr. Cristofaro and Healing the Children Northeast have made in her life.

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