The success stories of Healing the Children Arizona are too numerous to mention.
Here are a few of our recent successes – and how their lives have changed for the better.
2011: 8-year-old Ana
Ana was just 2-years-old when she accidentally drank a caustic liquid she found her a family member's home in rural Honduras. One sip was enough to completely damage Ana's esophagus and require her to be fed via a gastric tube. In 2010, Ana's need came to the attention of Healing the Children Arizona, who worked with Dr. Tuan Pham, Dr. Ravindra Vegunta and Dr. Nathan Page of Cardon Children's Medical Center to schedule a surgery that would use 60 percent of Ana's colon to make an new esophagus.
In January 2011, Ana underwent 10 hours of surgery with great success. After just five weeks of rehabilitation and training, Ana was finally able to eat her first request – hamburgers and french fries. Ana returned home to Honduras in March 2011 after weeks of swallow and speech therapy.
2010: 17-year-old Shantal
At the age of 6, Jamaica-resident Shantal fell from tiered stadium seating and suffered a horrendous injury to her jaw which left her with the inability to adequately open her mouth. Two failed jaw surgeries soon left her with the inability to open her mouth, as well as an obvious deformity of her jaw. Shantal was recommended to Healing the Children Arizona by an American friend and we responded.
In December 2010, 17-year-old Shantal underwent seven hours of surgery, donated by Dr. James Bertz and Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn in Scottsdale, Ariz. Her recovery was miraculous! She returned home in January 2011 being able to completely open her mouth, chew and eat food for the first time since she was 6-years-old.
2010: 17-year-old Beatriz
Beatriz, a **** resident, was born with bilateral malformation of her feet and legs. Missing many bones in her legs and feet, Beatriz had grown to overcome her disability so she could move fairly well. However, her left foot was so deformed that her foot arched and did not lay flat. The stress of walking on this foot was sure to cause her significant problems in the future, which is why Healing the Children Arizona was contacted. In December 2010, Beatriz underwent surgery on her left foot by Dr. Brad Bruns at John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz. Beatriz returned home in February 2011 after making many friends with her peppy personality.
2009: 9-year-old Samir
Samir, a small boy from Ecuador was diagnosed with a serious brain tumor that required surgery he could not get in his native country. Thanks to Dr. Brendan Cassidy and Dr. Harold Rekate of St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., Samir was able to have a double procedure that changed his life. Just two days after he arrived from Ecuador, Samir underwent corrective eye surgery followed by the removal of a tumor from the brain. Samir did very well, and to everyone's surprise, he was approved to return to Ecuador just two weeks after his release from the hospital.
2008: 2-year-old Luis
Luis, a 2 year-old from Peru, was diagnosed with a profound bilateral hearing loss shortly after he was born. However, the Peruvian government wasn't able to provide the toddler with a cochear implant device. Luis' mother contacted his aunt, who lived in Mesa, and his aunt enlisted the help of Healing the Children Arizona and Dr. Michael Fucci, of Cardon Children's Medical Center. Healing the Children worked with Cochlear of America's, who were willing to provide the device at half cost. Determined that Luis would have this implant, his aunt raised the other half from her family and a donation from an Australian inventor. In August 2008, Luis received his coclear implant and, just a few weeks later, he was able to hear the voice of his mom clearly for the first time in his life. In September 2008, Luis and his mother returned to Lima where the child is excelling.
2008: 10-year-old Minh Tri
Brave little Minh Tri , age 10, was diagnosed with Hirshsprung's disease at an early age and endured 12 operations in Vietnam that left him with a colostomy before his case was brought to the attention of Healing the Children Arizona.
Minh Tri left his parents and his brother in Vietnam for a 10 month stay in the United States, where he was cared for by Dr. Enrique Grisoni at Cardon Children's Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz. After his discharge, Minh Tri was recognized by Children's Wish Network and received a "Hero of the Month" award and party at Cardon Children's. Minh Tri returned to Vietnam in August 2008, where he had one final surgery to reverse Minh Tri's colostomy now that his intestines have been repaired.
2007: 20-month-old Cam Ly
Cam Ly from was only 8-months-old when her mother traveled 5 hours from their village in Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City to see a group of international doctors performing cleft lip and palate repairs. Those doctors told Cam Ly's mother that the child had a heart murmur, which could accelerate quickly to a serious heart problem, and was not eligible for cleft lip surgery. Cam Ly's mother was heartbroken and begged the team to help her daughter.
One physician on the trip, a Scottsdale plastic surgeon, returned home and told Cam Ly's story to her church members. A Healing the Children Arizona host family member was in the audience and offered assistance from the organization. One year later, at the age of 20 months, Cam Ly was flown to Arizona to have open heart surgery for Tetrology of Fallot, a fatal heart condition. She underwent two open heart surgeries at Phoenix Children's Hospital in Phoeix by Dr. Michael Teodori. After a few months of recovery, Cam Ly was able to undergo her cleft lip and palate repair by Dr. Stephen Beals. Cam Ly returned home in November 2007 looking like a completely different little girl.