Sunday, February 17, 2013

Haitian Hearts has Two Patients Accepted

Memose--October, 2012
(Photo by John Carroll)

Thirty-four year old Memose was just accepted by a medical center in the United States for reconstructive surgery of her jaw.

Thirteen years ago Haitian Hearts brought Memose to this same medical center for cancer of her right lower jaw. The cancer was resected and her fibula was used as a bone graft to make her a new jaw bone.  It is held together by a titanium plate and screws. After surgery Memose underwent radiation therapy and did very well and returned to her family in Haiti.

Unfortunately, after the 2010 earthquake Memose was lost to follow up. However, she resurfaced on Facebook and let her host family in the States know that she was not doing well. She said that she had a hole in her jaw with recurrent infections at the site of her previous surgery.

In October of 2012, I examined Memose in Port-au-Prince. She looked well aside from her right jaw. As the photograph shows, she has a five centimeter opening over her right mandible which exposes the plate and screws. Memose has radiation induced osteonecrosis, a known complication of radiation exposure.

After my exam, I sent photos and a history and physical to her surgeon in the States. He immediately responded and said he would do all he could to reconstruct Memose's jaw. And the medical center agreed to accept Memose as well. Her wonderful host family from thirteen years ago has her room in their home ready for her. We are working on obtaining her visa now for return to the United States.

I really don't care for Facebook but Facebook is how Memose communicated with her host family and  is the main way we communicate with her. Facebook played a big role in the Egyptian revolution and is playing a big role in saving Memose's life.

Woodson and Mom--January, 2013
(Photo by John Carroll)

The second patient is Woodson.

Woodson is a three year old toddler who lives on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. In February of 2012, his mother carried him into the pediatric clinic in Cite Soleil.

My exam revealed a very loud murmur over his chest and an echocardiogram proved he had a ventricular septal defect. This is the most common congenital heart disease and is a hole in the wall of the heart that separates the two man pumping chambers.

I put Woodson on some medication which helps rid his lungs of excess water which can collect due to this hole which should not be there.

Woodson has been accepted by a group called CHADASHA which takes Haitian kids to the Dominican Republic for heart surgery. And Woodson will leave for the Dominican Republic with his mother in two weeks for surgery to patch the hole.

Thank you CHADASHA!

John A. Carroll, MD

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