It Takes a Village: Rebecca’s Story

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-2-48-27-pmRebecca is a young teenage girl from rural Haiti.  She and her mom noticed her right eye starting to protrude about four months ago, being displaced both downward and outward. She could not breathe at all out of the right side of her nose, and her mother feared she would lose her eye. Haiti Health Ministries, who serves indigent rural Haitians, tried to help her, but the disease process had progressed too far and was too complex. Rebecca had undergone multiple tests and a biopsy, but the doctors in Haiti were simply not sure what was wrong with her.

rebecca-ct-e1383846355207On October 11, Rebecca’s fate changed. HHM contacted Dr. Hobar, and Dr. John McClay, LEAP’s Director of Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat Surgery was immediately consulted. A review of the CT scan made Dr. McClay suspect what was later confirmed: Rebecca had an expanding frontoethmoidal mucocele, causing severe propotosis and craniofacial abnormality. Untreated, it could have gone into her brain, leading to loss of vision and worsened deformity.

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-2-48-19-pmSinus surgery was required, but so were specialized endoscopic sinus surgery equipment and instruments. Haiti didn’t have that, and neither did LEAP. Saving this little girl was a seemingly insurmountable task.

Brigham Whitney, a wonderful Head and Neck Account Executive at Karl Storz Endoscopy America, began to move those mountains. He got the ball rolling and loads of people at Karl Storz began working behind the scenes to secure the equipment and instrumentation required. Mrs. Sybill Storz very generously lent us the $250,ooo worth of top of the line instruments required to save this little girl.

The equipment, along with the LEAP team headed to Haiti on October 31st, and the very next day, Rebecca went into surgery. Dr. McClay and his team operated on her, and little Rebecca was finally healed. She will not lose her eye or her sight, and in 1-2 years, she will likely have normal facial features again.

First class care for one child. Because we are all God’s children.

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40