Eight chil­dren to ben­e­fit from spinal surgery

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page -

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.

(Pic­ture by Car­los Atwell.)

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.

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