Eight children to benefit from spinal surgery
THE WORLD PAEDIATRIC PROJECT (WPP) is back in Barbados and over the course of this week, eight children will have their lives changed.
Local representative Krystal Boyea said a six-member United States medical team would be working with local medical professionals to identify those children with advanced scoliosis and operate on them.
Scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, may develop from birth or later in the teenage years when children undergo growth spurts.
Boyea said it was possible thanks to the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust, which has partnered with the WPP and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. WPP facilitator Harper Lorencki said while there were qualified medical experts in Barbados, the surgeries were costly and the equipment difficult to source from here, which was why the partnership was so important.
“This partnership started in 2015 and to date, we’ve held two to three clinics every year since, operating on eight kids each time. The ones who are too severe are sent overseas. We’ve corrected around 40 to 50 kids so far overall and there are other kids who are on our list now who are ready to be operated on,” she said.
This year the team saw 27 children on Sunday at their scoliosis clinic with eight earmarked for surgery, two a day from yesterday to Thursday. Boyea said the surgeries were life changing.
“There are children out there with a need who under normal circumstances would not be able to have these surgeries. You’re not just changing one child’s life, but an entire family’s lives,” she said.
Visiting paediatric orthopaedic surgeon Dr Joshua Pahys said he was impressed with how many children had already been seen.
“We started with about 100 kids on the list and the WPP managed to co-ordinate and reduce that. There is also a teaching component which makes it even more special as we can all learn from each other. I also like we are able to see the patients post-op so we can see how much the surgery has affected their lives,” he said.
BARBADOS WORLD PAEDIATRIC PROJECT representative Krystal Boyea (left) and chief resident in orthopaedics at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Dr Andre Yussuf (second left), with the United States medical team.