This mission trip was an unbelievable experience. I was moved not only by the great need and poverty but by the humility and gratitude of the beautiful people of the Dominican Republic. I look forward to continuing our efforts in Santiago.
Madelyn Stazzone, MD
The challenges were many but by God’s grace it all worked out for the good of the Dominican children. I am looking forward to continuing our collaborative efforts with the Dominican surgeons and staff at Arturo Grullón Children’s Hospital.
Enrico Stazzone, MD
Lead Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon
I was amazed at the contrast between modern structures and abject poverty. Having a physical deformity and handicap is difficult in the U.S.; imagine the limitations in a place with fewer resources. Without the surgery, many of these children would be outcast from society (especially the young girls). The operations themselves were complex and thankfully my brother, Enrico, lead a superb team of surgeons
performing them. We had a myriad of Dominican residents and attending physicians watching to learn from his vast expertise. The spines looked amazing after surgery. I remember showing an Orthopedic surgery resident the before and after radiographs of the patients. He stated how perfect they looked and that my brother was a Jedi-master of the spine. Postoperatively, I am dumbfounded at how well the patients progressed. Usually in the states it would take 4-5 days in the hospital on a PCA pain pump to control pain and get the patients moving. These kids were on Tylenol and ibuprofen 48 hours after surgery and walking. They were incredibly strong and tough.
Hopefully we shared some of our blessings with those we met. There is an old proverb that you move a mountain by carrying a few small stones at a time. I believe we carried a few buckets this trip. Hopefully we can do some more on another trip and other medical teams will pitch in their help as well.
Anthony Stazzone, MD
This was my first mission trip and what an awesome experience. I always say, “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.” This trip was a testament to that very statement. I have never been out of the U.S., so try to imagine my shock upon arriving in the DR. I have heard, read, & seen on TV some of this type of poverty. To actually see it firsthand is very different. I was doubtful we would be able to complete this mission. We faced many trials before surgeries were even started. As to my quote above, God provided and help us figure things out so that we could continue and complete is mission with much success. The children and their parents were grateful to us for helping them. However, I am truly grateful for how they touched my life! I am looking forward to going back to complete another successful mission trip.
Elizabeth Seebeck, RN
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