Volunteer surgeon Jonathan Rausky and Dr. Jorge Terrazas during surgery
La Paz, Bolivia -- Jennifer Scroggins, Assistant Director of Communications
After arriving in La Paz and acclimating to the altitude, our volunteer surgical team had a successful clinic day on Monday alongside Dr. Jorge Terrazas, our international medical partner here in Bolivia. The team's focus is primarily on hand surgery, so many of our patients here have hand issues such as syndactyly (fused fingers) or burn scar contractures.
We have completed two days of surgery, and the team has done some beautiful work so far. One of the cutest patients we've seen so far is Oscar. At the tender age of 1.5 years, Oscar is one of our smallest patients and has syndactyly on both hands. He also has an extra toe on each foot, and had the bones of a sixth finger growing inside his fused fingers. He and his parents live in Cochabama, a city about 230 miles from La Paz.
Volunteer surgeon Jonathan Rausky and Dr. Terrazas performed surgery today to separate the fingers on Oscar's left hand and remove the extra bones in that hand. He will return next year to have the other hand repaired. By the end of the day, he had already climbed out of bed and was walking around, charming the nurses and blowing kisses to passers by.
Photo by Darcy Padilla
His father, also named Oscar, said that at such a young age, his son's syndactyly has not yet interfered with his daily life, but he knows that it would in the future. He and his wife, Paula, are grateful to our ReSurge volunteers and Dr. Terrazas for the care their son has received.