NGO “HEALING THE CHILDREN”VISITS FEDERATION By John Denny Observer Reporter
(Charlestown, Nevis) – A team of specialists from a Philadelphia based non-governmental organization visited the Federation last week bringing assistance to children in need. The assistance came in the form of prosthetics and physical therapy for disabled children from the non-profit organization Healing the Children (HTC). HTC also donated toothbrushes, paste and holders to the Smiles to Shine dental hygiene campaign being conducted in the schools. HTC Executive Director Desi Ferrell said she met Chief Medical Officer of the Federation, Dr. Patrick Martin in Seattle several years ago and he asked if their organization could help here. Since 1987 over 60 children from the Federation have been treated in a number of cases including: open heart surgeries, scoliosis surgery for correction of spinal deformities and plastic surgery among many. These treatments and surgeries normally cost fortunes, but Heal the Children does this for free Ms. Ferrell was accompanied by Mark Holowka, an Orthotics and Prosthetics Specialist and Ryan Brown a Doctor of Physical Therapy, both from the Shriners Children’s Hospital. The team first went to St. Kitts where they examined several children. There, they diagnosed a child with cerebral palsy, another with spina bifida and three cases of scoliosis. On Nevis, at least one child was being measured for a prosthetic limb. One or two of the children will need to have surgery off island for their conditions. Since 1979, Healing the Children volunteers have changed the lives of more than 174,000 children. Physicians, dentists, nurses, hospitals, laboratories, airline personnel, teachers, translators, social workers, and many other professionals generously give their time and expertise to Healing the Children. Host families open their hearts and homes to offer HTC children daily care, security, and love. Each dollar received is multiplied many times over and reaps a great return in healthy children and improved medical facilities.