April 21-28: Our own Dr. Benjamin Levine, Dr. Michal Kozanek, PT Lauren Doherty, PTA Bill Martin and OT Beth Keelan all recently returned from a week-long mission trip to the Dominican Republic, sponsored by Children of the Nations. They had a full case load and helped as many people as they could while they were there.
One case in particular stood out. A 17 year-old had a knee deformity from an accident that happened when he was 14. The accident caused damage to the outside part of the growth plates which caused them to stop growing while the inside growth plates continued on as normal. They corrected the deformity and had to improvise, as they do not have all of the materials that they would here in the U.S. They bring many of their own materials with them, usually resulting in 10+ suitcases of medical necessities. To the right is a before and after of this case.
What’s most notable is the lack of access to basic healthcare or housing. Patients line up to be seen when they know surgeons and therapists are coming. The case above is a perfect example: people walk around for years with injuries that would be fixed immediately if they had the resources available for them to do so. It is a very humbling experience for all involved.
Lauren summed it up perfectly: “I went to help those in need but little did I know that they would help me too.”