To date, a total of 315 children have received scoliosis surgical correction due to our efforts; 76 of these through our 9 mission trips and more importantly, 239 by the hands of the Dominican surgeons and staff that we have trained. That is the true testament of our success! From the onset, our main goal has been to educate our local colleagues or what we like to call the “teach them to fish mentality.” We started our efforts in the Arturo Grullón Children’s Hospital in Santiago, Dominican Republic in 2012. However, due to a renovation process that has resulted in essentially no operating rooms for over 3 years, we have been holding our mission trips at Hospital Metropolitano de Santiago (HOMS), a private, state-of-the-art facility in Santiago. Despite our accomplishments, there are many more children waiting in line for these surgeries; children who have no hope for surgical correction otherwise. Left untreated, scoliosis can result in compromised heart and lung function. Apart from improving the overall health and quality of life for these children, scoliosis correction allows Dominican children to be accepted again in a society that shuns physical deformity. In many cases, children with scoliosis are not allowed to go to school because “they will be bullied.” Once corrected, these children are then allowed to become educated. Surgeries are therefore, life-changing not only physically but also socially and emotionally. Each year, we hold a reunion of all our previous patients. That is where we see the fruits of our labor. Children that were once ostracized by there society, return to us with new-found hope and self-confidence.
“Thank you for transforming my life.”
-Audrey Cabrera, 15 years old
Mission 2015 patient & law student
View Audrey’s Testimonial
Although POP has focused on treating scoliosis, the hospital in Santiago also needs assistance in treating children with other orthopedic disorders. In 2016 POP began expanding its pediatric orthopedic surgical care beyond scoliosis. As a result, POP has successfully treated 15 additional children with a variety of orthopedic conditions such bowing deformities and trauma. POP hopes to continue to expand our treatment into other areas of orthopedics in the future.