The tumor on Rose’s right arm now is the size of a large cantelope. Despite the size and the open wounds it has created, her hand function is near normal. Tomorrow she will be admitted to Adventiste hospital in Port-au-Prince and on Friday we hope to remove the tumor and save her hand. Sitting on a plane to Miami, I am a bit nervous that we will not be successful but we have a very strong team. Dr Zuckerman is an orthopedic tumor surgeon and Dr Nelson a pediatric orthopedic surgeon who has been working in Haiti on a regular basis for 9 years. I am honored to be part of the team and am hopeful that we can reconstruct for Rose a functional hand. She is grateful for this chance. Absent our assistance she would eventually succumb to complications from this.
This has been a five-week project for the NAVMC team and we have had advice from 20 different specialists across the country. Orthopedic surgeons from Canada obtained a sample of the tumor and tissue specialists from Miami have helped to identify the tumor. Specialists from Boston to California have weighed in and provided their recommendations, none have seen this type of tumor reach this size. Here at home it is usually diagnosed as soon as a patient starts to feel pain in their arm. We have a surgical plan and we have received surgical supplies from Arthrex and Acumed, companies that make the devices we will need to rebuild Rose’s arm. NAVMC is providing the funding to finance the surgery.
I am thankful to live in a place where we have access to medical care. Happy fourth and thank-you all for your support.