We love seeing children thrive!
Getting to help families is the best part of what we do. At CTPO, we love seeing a child thrive after an injury, or reach their full potential after treatment for a congenital disease. Since we’re all about LOVE this February, we wanted to highlight that passion that drives our physicians to do more, not only here in Texas, but around the world.
The Moore Center – Guatemala City
For many years, Dr. John Williams has joined Dell Children’s Surgical Global Outreach program to bring orthopedic surgical care to underserved children in Guatemala. Last year he was joined by Dr. Hilton Gottschalk with the aim of expanding the number of children that could be seen in just one short week. Working at the Moore Center in central Guatemala City, Drs. Williams and Gottschalk spent a week assessing patients, performing surgery and providing follow up care to several dozen children in dire need of complex orthopedic care. The Moore Center, operated by the Shalom Foundation, is a one of a kind surgical center in Guatemala City that provides specialized medical care and clinics children throughout Central America.
The work is tiring – long days and long hours of surgery, sometimes back to back, to try to help as many patients as possible. The reward is not in the satisfaction Drs. Williams and Gottschalk feel when they help a child, but in the smile of that child when they live a more fulfilling life.
Dr. Gottschalk remembers one patient in particular, who suffered from osteogenesis imperfecta, more commonly known as brittle bone syndrome. Her father, who also suffered from the disorder, could not walk, and moved around on a skateboard. After a successful surgery, the family expressed its thanks to the surgical team at the Moore Center, but words were not enough. Overcome with gratitude and appreciation for the team, the father wheeled himself several miles to the Guatemala City airport on the day the team left to give them hand-made crafts as gifts of thanks. The crafts are a constant reminder of what we’re able to do for others.
Children’s National Hospital San Jose, Costa Rica
2016 was the second year Dr. Ryan Murdock participated in global mission work. Working through Spine Hope, Dr. Murdock provided treatment and surgery to several children, as well as saw patients from previous years in a continuity of care clinic. Like Drs. Williams and Gottschalk, Dr. Murdock aimed to bring hope to children and families who have little to no resources. Although the situation is different than what our physicians face in Guatemala, Dr. Murdock saw patients in similar situations – with very complex, sometimes very advanced orthopedic conditions. Working with local surgeons and surgical teams, Dr. Murdock also incorporated a teaching aspect to the trip in an effort to provide better follow up care to the patients. This was only possible due to the availability of education and resources in Costa Rica. The U.S. based team provided medical lectures and clinics during their week in Costa Rica, strengthening the competence and experience of the local staff in dealing with complex spinal cases.