Monday, December 15, 2008
Once again we return from another Haiti trip with feelings that words cannot exactly describe. The problems are often overwhelming. In spite of the fact that we are not even making a dent in the overall situation, the lives we do touch are often changed forever. I am always reminded of Thoreau's words "One is not born into the world to do everything, but to do something". Our team is in a very unique situation to provide a service that no one else is able to do. Because of our proximity and ability to transport large amounts of equipment we are always prepared operate on a huge variety of problems. Our Dominican anesthesiologist Dra. Adrian and our nurse Lucia work tirelessly, efficiently and adapt themselves to any situation without complaint. In addition to providing the best in patient care, their work ethic, attitude, and energy always provide a positive experience and inspiration for the rest of us. When one of our children needed a blood transfusion Dra. Adrian donated her A+ blood while giving anesthesia to another patient and then paid for the post transfusion lab test out of her personal money.
This trip we were also privileged to have the expertise of Dr. Wade Faerber Chief of Orthopaedics at Riverside County Regional Medical Center, Dr. Cris Sherman ortho resident and Ralph Burney OR nurse also from Riverside County. It was great to work once again with my old colleagues. Even though we go with the intent of giving we always receive a much larger blessing. Seeing the love of the Haitian people, their raw suffering, and their tolerance of discomfort is a life changing experience for us soft Americans.
For more images see http://www.pbase.com/scottnelson/haiti_recent
Sunday, November 9, 2008
We owe special thanks to K2 Medical for the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of implants that were used this week. Each member of the team is vitally important to the success of the work. Paul Caron and Autumn Sutterlin of K2 Medical, Larry Daly (anesthesia), and Carrie Bower (neuromonitoring) as well as our Dominican doctors and nurses all worked hard for the success of this trip.
Both in the
Katherin 13 with her mother on post op day 5 is ready to go home after having surgery for her 95 degree R thoracic curve.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Alam 17, Maryfel 16, Damaris 10, Mario 20, William 17, Roselbia 17, Ana 12, Emelyn 16, Franklin 17, Massiel 15, Dariana 16, Pamela 21, Yanil 15, Juleisy 15, Mideline 18, Wilson 19, Phillip 15, Ana 16, Eunice 17, Lusahidily 12, Mercedes 37, Flor 20, Cynthia 16, Yesica 17, Jose 16, Sheryll 14, Yerolanny 17, Youseline 12, Miguel 17, Esteanny 14, Winifer 12, Andritson 16, Alberto 42, Felix 18, Victor 20, Jose 18, Ruth 13, Miranda 16, Daysi 37, Gernelys 14, Santa 17, Perla 11.
On behalf of CURE and the patients we serve I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Depuy Spine on the behalf of the 42 patients that have had life changing surgery because of their generous support. Only 18 months after their first visit they have sponsored a total of 4 trips, inspiring many, educating, forming relationships and changing lives. At CURE we are all about giving our patients loving state of the art care and providing long term follow up for those that we treat making it possible to safely do such complex operations in the developing world.
Todd Spiegel of Depuy Spine and
Click on any of the photos above to take you more photos of spinal deformity surgery at CURE Santo Domingo
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Each and every one of these patients came with a special story. There was the man with an external fixator on his leg which had become infected after having navigated the floodwaters of Gonaive. He was accompanied only by his 7 year old son. There was the 11 year old boy who had lost most of his leg due to the brutaine traction methods used by the local doctors for a simple femur fracture. Then there was Presler (pictured) a sweet natured 16 year old boy intentionally burned 3 months ago by his father, for not listening to him. His neck shoulder and elbow had all become severely contracted leaving him with a monster like appearance. Due to providential circumstance, Dr. Duncan Miles (Loma Linda University Plastic Surgeon) was able to come to
Jean Role director of clubfoot
There will be 2 new Haitian orthopaedic residents joining the
Click photo above to see more pictures from this trip.
Monday, September 29, 2008
The generous donation of Orthofix to CURE International is revolutionizing deformity correction, limb lengthening and trauma care at our
Pictured is a 12 year old boy named Laudy who lives in a destitute part of the
Because of the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Orthofix equipment that has been donated to CURE International we are able to provide our patients care that is equal to the best centers in the
Thank you and congratulations to Orthofix and those of you who work for this generous company which is making a positive difference in this world.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Give and it will be given to you... Luke 6:38
Roynelis, a 4 year old girl born with a nonfunctional thumb on the left hand underwent reconstructive surgery to create a thumb by transplantation of her index finger. In addition to a wrist repositioning surgery a similar operation will be performed on the right side where she was born missing a thumb and one of her forearm bones. Thanks to support from people like the members of the Bethsaida Baptist Church CURE surgeons and staff are able to transform the lives of children around the world. Click here to see pictures of similar operations performed at CURE Dominican Republic.
Monday, July 28, 2008
On behalf of
Over the past several years there has been a growing interest amongst medical students and young physicians in medical missions and social responsibility. This has spread throughout secular universities throughout the modern world. In contrast to years past, most of these efforts are purely humanitarian as opposed to previous years where the large majority of this work was carried out by religious groups.
The rotation at CURE International in the
Over the past 3 years a number of top quality visiting professors have greatly added to the resident education and quality of services we offer. This has given the opportunity for the residents to work and develop relationships with surgeons from other programs in the
Sam Chen MD quotes “Thanks to the sponsorship by Arrowhead Orthopaedics, I was given training not obtainable in my home program. I was able to see the effect of untreated pathology and the suffering it can cause. More importantly, I was also able to see the gratitude of people when they are provided with help from outside organizations.”
At CURE International Dominican Republic we have hosted residents from
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Multiple surgeons in
The first step was to confirm the ambiguous pathology report with Dr.
Multiple emails were exchanged with Mark Bollinger and Troy Hershberger of Biomet,
After maximal preparation and a prayer… the operation was initiated. The absence of a vascular surgeon, vessel clips and a Biomet rep added to the difficulty of the case. But after 3 hours of surgery the tumor was resected and the prosthetic reconstruction begun. The innovative Biomet Compress prosthesis addresses the problem of loosening at the implant bone interface by loading the bone with up to 800 lbs of continuous spring loaded force to invoke an incredibly strong biologic bond between the metal and bone. We released the spring loaded force and placed the $20,000 implant without difficulty. Her recuperation phase was begun.
It does not matter that Marineris knows nothing about
Monday, June 30, 2008
Ou ban-m lespua You give me hope
Every 3 months we go to
This trip I was privileged to be working with
At the beginning of the week I often times feel overwhelmed and apprehensive about the magnitude and difficulty of problems that are likely to present themselves during the week. After finishing our 36th operation in 5 days, Jim asked me how I felt. Always a bit shell shocked from the experience, I can only liken it to all the emotions a soldier must have when he is returning home from war. In spite of long work hours and little sleep we don’t feel tired until the last case is done. The suffering of the people and the love created by the giving and acceptance of acts of kindness fills the team with emotion that provokes deep thought and leaves one changed forever.
The urgencies and case volume leaves little time for personal interaction with the patients, making one of my favorite times of the week Saturday morning rounds when we visit with our patients and review their post operative care plan before heading home. The 67 year old man in bed 24 Monseur Luime said to me “Ou ban-m lespua” You give me hope. During our last trip in April this same man had been in bed 24. In fact he had been suffering for 10 months with a severe segmental open tibia fracture. Because of the severe infection and little hope for salvage we had left his care to the local doctors. Since they had done nothing the bone was still exposed, although the infection had somewhat improved. This trip we saw him still sitting in bed 24 begging us to help him. With a 2 hour reconstructive surgery we placed an external fixator, removed the nonviable bone and covered the wound with a muscle flap and skin graft. Thanks to the companies and personal donors that support this work we are able to come prepared to take care of a wide variety of injuries and deformities. Often only a couple hours of our time along with the healing powers of our creator can make a life changing difference in those that we serve.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Every time I return from
This trip was exceptional in that we had 12 team members which is the largest ever. Prior to the trip I feared that keeping everyone organized and busy in the chaotic work environment would be difficult. To the contrary each one of the following self-activated people played a special role, making it one of the easiest and most efficient trips ever. And most importantly the quality of our patient interactions and whole person care was unsurpassed.
- Janet Castillo (RN CURE
) Santo Domingo
- Lucia Hernandez (RN CURE Santo Domingo)
- Dra. Maria Adrian (MD anesthesia CURE Santo Domingo)
- Dr. Scott Nelson (MD CURE
) Santo Domingo
- Dr. Dan Ruggles (DO Orthopaedic Resident,
) Riverside, CA
Dielika Charlier(MD pediatrics, CURE ) Santo Domingo
- Dale Brantner (VP Spiritual Life CURE Home office)
- Mike Wilson (Dir. Special Projects, Cross International, FL)
- Robbie Jackson (CURE Clubfoot Worldwide,
) Dallas TX
- Jean Role (CURE Clubfoot
- Arpy Soo (Plumber, San Luis Obispo, CA)
- Bernhard Ahrens (Architect,
) Santo Domingo
No trip to
We operated an additional 31 human patients on this trip as well. Many of them just as sweet and innocent as the canine. We only worked until 4:30 am one night and finished by 9 or 10 pm on the other days leaving, us less fatigued than some of our previous trips.
One notorious case was Rosebeline. She is a 10 year old girl crippled by severe bowlegs caused by a poorly understood growth disturbance in the legs called Blount’s disease. Some short term missionaries from
Thanks to Dra. Charlier, Mike, and Dale we were able to have much more interaction and better communication with our patients. Dra. Charlier is our new pediatrician in
Although our patients were still suffering pain from their injuries and operations, they expressed an impressive gratitude and love for us and for God, saying that God had sent us and thanking us for helping them.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
For most outsiders,
Lonely Planet – Caribbean Islands 2007
It took me several days to recover from this last trip. The week usually ends in physical fatigue and emotional overload. If the mere traveler is “somewhat shell-shocked” then visitors to northern
Several new team members accompanied us on the trip:
- Cris Sherman DO – orthopaedic resident,
- Ed O’laughlin MD – anesthesiologist,
- Terry Piper MD – orthopaedic surgeon,
St. Louis, MO
- Christy Piper – pre-med student,
St. Louis, MO
- Chuck McDonald – physical therapist,
St. Louis, MO
In addition to myself the returning members were:
Maria AdrianMD – anesthesiologist, CURE , DR Santo Domingo
- Lucia Hernandez – nurse, CURE Santo Domingo, DR
- Bernhard Ahrens – architect and hotel owner,
, DR Santo Domingo
A mob of Haitians on strike at the border caused some delays en route to Cap Haitian, but after some negotiations with group leaders we were able to convince them to let us pass. We had to leave our vehicle behind but were able to load ourselves and our equipment onto a truck on the other side of the border and complete the trip. Some of the new team members seemed to be somewhere between amusement and fear during the whole process.
Not until we arrived at Hospital Justinien did it become clear to our first time teammates what the motivation was behind the perseverance it took to transact the border crossing, assimilate our medical team, equipment, and travel the distance to Cap Haitian. The first day of the trip we saw over 140 patients including some follow up visits on some of our previous patients. We operated 37 patients some of whom had bilateral or multiple procedures. In between each case during the entire week we would evaluate more patients, change casts, and transfer patients amongst other things. Dr. Sherman commented that the time we were working least hard was when we were scrubbed in and operating. Although many of the traumatic injuries we saw had occurred in the weeks and months prior, we treat them as orthopaedic emergencies knowing that if we do not take care of them nobody will. Two nights during the week we operated until 4 am. Fortunately the inverter we installed last year gave us uninterrupted power throughout the week and allowed us to operate late into the night without delays and additional risk to our patients.
Another encouraging aspect of the trip was the progress made with our Ponseti clubfoot casting program. Our Haitian technician “Mano” has progressed very nicely with his techniques. He was able to participate in a refresher course in Port au Prince in November that was organized by Andy Mayo and Kaye Wilkins. His reputation is spreading and many children are now coming at earlier ages and the results have improved dramatically.
The week also allowed for a bit of time to meet with the hospital administration and some of the surgeons to better understand their needs and formalize some of our goals for the future of these trips. Bernhard played an essential role in these meetings. Not only is he a great help in improving the physical plant – water, electricity etc. but also is an expert at international communications, empowering the people, and breaking down the some of the barriers to progression.
We go to serve – without pay, but inevitably return with more than we give.
The angels of heaven join us in helping others. They are sent to minister to all who need and choose to be saved, and when we open our doors to help the poor and suffering, they join us, bringing a holy atmosphere of joy and peace. Every helpful act of mercy makes music in heaven.
Jerry D. Thomas, Messiah, Pacific Press 2005
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Clinics run MWF 8 am-3pm.
Francel Alexis MD
Hopital Adventiste d'Haiti
Diquini 63 Carrefour
Port au Prince
For further questions email firstname.lastname@example.org
it was with careful deliberation and intentions to avoid self-glorification that I decided to create this blogspot for the following purposes:
- To express gratitude to the donors who so generously have supported CURE and our work in the Dominican Republic and Haiti
- To repay the encouragement and support given to us by our CURE home office family who deserve to see the images and read the stories of the lives being changed by their efforts in a nondescript Pennsylvania warehouse
- To inspire others to understand the benefits of sacrifice and engage themselves in caring for those less fortunate
- To give information for visitors planning long or short term work with CURE International in the Dominican Republic and Haiti
- To provide contact information for patients and organizations seeking high quality orthopaedic treatment in the Dominican Republic and Haiti
Centro de Ortopedia y Especialidades
Francia esq Leopoldo Navarro 129
Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana
We are located "en frente el Palacio de la Policia" in Gazcue. For those arriving from outside the capital this is just across Av. 27 Febrero from the Caribe Tours bus terminal.
Orthopedic clinics are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9-3.
Neurosurgery clinic is on Wednesday afternoons.
General Surgery clinic is on Tuesday.
Pediatrician is available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Initial consultation is $150 RD for children and $500 RD for adults. X-rays and lab are extra. No appointment is necessary and patients are seen in the order of arrival time.
If a private appointment is desired with Dr. Nelson the charge is $1500 RD (plus x-ray and lab if needed). Please call to schedule.
For further questions please call 809-682-5022 or email email@example.com.