Mending Kids flew out 14-year old, Anthony from Jamaica to Los Angeles this November to undergo a series of facial reconstruction procedures. Anthony fell off of a pick-up truck when he was only 6 years old. The fall left him with a disfigured face. Complex, facial reconstructive surgeries are not amenable in his home country of Jamaica. And, Anthony’s family was unable to fund such a complicated procedure.
Flash-forward 4 years. Steve Miller was vacationing in Trelawny, Jamaica and noticed a boy sitting at the pier. It just so happens that Anthony’s Dad, Bernard works for a rafting tour company and Anthony was waiting for his Dad’s shift to end. Steve couldn’t help but to notice this boy’s face. He went back to his vacation rental and inquired with the house manager if they knew of the boy. They did, and the manager contacted Bernard about Steve’s inquiry. Steve searched for nearly 4 years for someone to take on Anthony’s case. No one would. Until Steve reached out to Mending Kids about 3 months ago.
Mending Kids sponsored his flight and made all of the arrangements for him to be seen at both Shriners and Children’s Hospital L.A. While Anthony was here, Steve launched a Facebook Giving Tuesday campaign, which fundraised nearly $5000 to sponsor Anthony’s housing and food. In between appointments, Steve made sure Anthony and Bernard were able to take in some Los Angeles sightseeing and enjoyed quality time getting to know each other.
Mending Kids arranged for Anthony’s many appointments while here. It was uncovered that before Anthony could have any reconstruction done, he needed to meet with a Neurosurgeon, because via a brain scan, it was obvious his brain was exposed. This speciality is not a service provided by Shriners. Steve learned of a neurosurgeon, Mark Krieger of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles so Mending Kids arranged for and paid for that appointment. Dr. Krieger advised that Anthony could have his three initial nose surgeries and come back for the neurosurgery procedure afterwards.
At this point, Anthony and his Dad had already been here a month and Dad needed to get back to Jamaica so he could go back to work and help support his family. Anthony, his family and Steve remain hopeful that his reconstruction will happen through Mending Kids Individual Surgical Care Program in early 2019.