Samuel, a three-month old from Florida, Copan, came into the clinic with his mother. When doctors saw him, they were interested and confused by his condition. His legs were crossed across his body and wouldn’t move from that position. There was a brigade at the clinic from Summit in Honduras. The orthopedic physician assistant, Jen, took a look at Samuel and said she had an idea of what it was. But, she wanted several opinions for a diagnosis, including an opinion from her boss back in the U.S.
Besides his legs, Samuel seemed and acted like a normal three-month old; he smiled and made the doctors and nurses swoon over him. After seeing Jen, the brigade pediatrician, Ann, examined Samuel. She suspected that Samuel had spina bifida, a defect where the infant’s spinal cord doesn’t develop properly in utero. Ann wanted to send Samuel and his mother to the hospital in San Pedro Sula –a 2½ hour trip- to get an MRI of his spine to confirm her suspicions.*
*The staff at the Manos Amigas clinic is currently arranging for the MRI because Samuel’s family doesn’t have the money for transportation or to pay for the MRI.