I have quite a story to share with you about Oscar and his journey to healing. On a recent surgery mission to Belize, I met his parents who revealed to me they were urged by their friends, family and neighbors to let their two-year-old son die. Oscar’s father said, “I couldn’t give up on him, he is my son, I’ll do anything for him.”
This family had sold almost all their possessions in an attempt to afford medical care for their very sick little boy who was not getting better through local medical treatment. When the family learned International Hospital for Children would be sending a surgical team to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, they immediately made plans for the seven-hour bus trip to Belize City. Oscar’s mother even sold her gold earring – a traditional Mayan family heirloom, to pay the bus fare.
I met Oscar the first day of our mission clinic and determined he had a serious malformation which limited his body’s ability to eliminate waste. I performed surgery to repair the condition the very next day. By the end of the week, Oscar was smiling, laughing, and well on his way to recovery!
His parents expressed their relief and gratitude to me, which I extend to you for making Oscar’s care possible. I hope you’ll take a moment to view this short video and meet Oscar and his family yourself.
Dr. David Lanning
Surgeon-in-Chief at Children’s Hospital of Richmond of the VCU Health System