Friday, September 21, 2007

Marilu's Trip to the Hospital - a little depressing

Yesterday Allen drove Marilu (see her story here) and her parents to San Pedro Sula, to meet with the visiting North American orthopedic surgeon there. New X-rays were taken, and her condition was discussed. So far, the news is not especially good, but we continue to be grateful for the access we have to these excellent doctors.

Basically, if Marilu lived in the states, in addition to straightening her legs the doctors would insert new bone (or, I suppose, a bone substitute) into her legs, as her bones are not long enough for her current size, and some of her bones are missing. This surgery would need to be repeated every two years, until she was fully grown. Here in Honduras, this is not a practical solution, so the doctors are looking at alternatives.

One significant discussion involves amputating her legs. It is possible that the doctors will determine that the results of multiple surgeries would not be an improvement over amputation. If an amputation is a likely long-term outcome, then it needs to be considered whether the amputation should take place very soon. Apparently, the complications which many amputees experience, suffering from "phantom" pains in their missing limbs, can be avoided if the amputation occurs at a very young age.

It seems at this time to be very unlikely that Marilu will ever walk, even with crutches.

The doctors are hoping to arrange for a surgeon who specializes in hand surgeries, to repair the problems in Marilu's right hand. With the likelihood that she will not walk, having full use of her hands may become an especially important factor in her life.

Although we would have loved to have received a better prognosis, it is a huge blessing to have a specialist review Marilu's condition, and to know realistically what is possible surgically. This medical group, from the organization Cure International, is setting up a permanent facility in San Pedro Sula, and the doctor Allen met is making preparations to live and work there full time for the next two years. So, we are pleased to say that we expect to connect Marilu with extremely good medical care, over an extended period of time.

For the moment, the doctors have chosen to wait until they are in full-time operation in San Pedro to begin treating Marilu, so nothing more is expected to happen on this until February. Thanks so much for your prayers, as we work through all of this, and thanks for your continued prayers for Marilu and her family.


Gin said...

We are missionaries in Mexico. Do you know there is a Shrine Hospital in Mx City? I know you are far from there but nothing is impossible with God. Their website The Mx City ph # 011-52-555-424-7850. Can you private mail me, your contact link on this site does not work for me. Ginger

Anonymous said...

It seems to me sad news that Marilu may lose her legs. Sometimes I wonder what God is up to; I do know we can trust Him, especially with the hard things. I will continue to pray for Marilu and her family. God has not forgotten the poor and sick in Honduras. Evidence of His love is that Cure International is setting up shop in San Pedro! From their website it looks like they do good work. Do not grow weary in well-doing, the harvest is coming!
Love Beth Webb