Samantha’s Story

Testimonial from one of the Operation Rainbow Team Members:

When we arrived at the hospital on Sunday morning for the clinic, the whole family was waiting for us and Samantha dressed in a red coat, looking very cute came dancing towards us. It took us a minute to recognize her. Our surgeon who had operated on her before was with us again, thank goodness because this was a very rewarding moment for him to see how well she was doing.

Letter From Samantha’s Parents

“Hello I am Samantha Abigail Uruchina Ramon, I am three and a half years old and I want to thank all the doctors of Operation Rainbow Foundation, who have last year operated my dislocated hip and I want to tell you that you have made my dream to walk come true. You have no idea how happy I am now that I am able to walk, I can jump, I can play and above all I can have a normal life. Thanks to God because He put you in my road. To all of you full of willingness to help and your generous heart to help those who need you the most. At times we have no more hope, but thanks to the doctors of Operation Rainbow these dreams can become reality.

I had four surgeries before you came. All the surgeries did not help me to walk. I was bound to my bed for a year and a half due to the fact that the four surgeries left me in a cast and the only thing I would do was to cry. Both the physical pain and the psychological pain prevented me from being happy. It took me a long time to recover from the trauma, but thanks to my family and dear loved ones I was able to move forward.

I know that with your help and the help of God all will be fine .I want to ask you to never forget the people that do need your help. Again my sincere thanks to the Hospital Vicente Corral Moscoso for opening their door and give us the help we need.”

Operation Rainbow: Mission to Ica, Peru.

Testimonial from one of the Operation Rainbow Team Members:

“Kevin Blacio is a nine-year old boy from Machala, Ecuador. Two years ago, he and his family were on their way downtown when an ill-timed incident left Kevin with a severed foot. While waiting at the pick-up stop, Kevin saw their bus approaching and began to walk towards the sidewalk’s curb. Just as the bus pulled to the side of the road, Kevin slipped off the curb and his left foot was crushed beneath the heavy tires of the bus. In complete and utter shock, the boy was rushed to the hospital, where most of his foot was amputated, leaving only a horribly scarred remainder of a heel.

In order to prevent further blood loss, doctors had to move quickly and, as a result, many surgical details were overlooked. Consequently, this created problems when Kevin was eventually fitted with a prosthetic foot. During his initial surgery, the tibial anterior ligament was never completely transferred to a more suitable position and the heel cord was never lengthened. Without these details, his ankle was in a continuously flexed position. Thus, Kevin’s prosthesis could not correctly fit his amputation – preventing him from being able to walk without pain.

Today, with the care of Operation Rainbow’s talented surgeons, Kevin has received the surgery he so desperately needed: a complete tendon transfer along his left shin and the lengthening of his left heel cord. This specialized procedure has not only allowed him to have the privilege of walking pain-free – but as he so cheerfully declares – it may just be the thing to put him back on the junior soccer team by next season.”

Estefani Cueva is a beautiful seven-year old girl

from Machala, Ecuador. Born with cerebral palsy, Estefani can barely walk without the assistance of her mother, Glendy, as her legs ‘scissor’ together with each difficult step.

Upon examining her, the Operation Rainbow surgeon knew that a very quick, specialized procedure he had recently mastered in the States would allow Estefani to walk almost as well as any other bubbly young girl. The procedure lasted a mere thirty minutes, and involved six tiny incisions at three given points in the back of her legs to release the tightness of her muscles. She was then cast and sent home to recover.

Within a few weeks, Estefani would walk for the very first time without any assistance.

Having the opportunity to take care of Natalie two years in a row in Ica, Peru was such a rewarding experience.

“I remember it so clearly; as I walked down the hallway of the hospital, this little girl looked at me and started smiling as if she knew me. Then I realized who this beautiful girl was, Natalie, one of the memorable patients from the previous year.

It was quite a reunion with stickers ending up all over our faces and a lot of laughing being done by Natalie, her mother, and myself. She was back again for the Operation Rainbow team to continue their work on her legs and to give her the chance to walk even better then what the last year’s operation had accomplished. With tears in her eyes, Natalie’s mother told me that Natalie’s life had improved drastically over the last year and that kids no longer made fun of her, all because of us.

How amazing to see this wonderfully happy little girl acting as if being back in the hospital for more surgery was the happiest day of her life. It is moments like these that make being apart of Operation Rainbow one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

Operation Rainbow: Mission to Fundación Tierra Nueva, Quito, Ecuador.

In November of 2006, Operation Rainbow had its first mission to Quito, Ecuador, to a charity hospital named Fundación Tierra Nueva.

With the support of the local social workers, doctors, nurses, and technicians, we were able to perform life-changing surgeries for children ranging in age from 5 1/2 months to 16 years. All of the children, for one reason or another, touched our hearts, but oddly enough, it was one of the few adult patients we treated that really impressed us with his strength, determination, and good humor.Heriberto Luis Colorado (“Luis”) lives six hours from Quito in an agricultural coop where he works the fields from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., planting corn and other grains. He is married and has two daughters aged 11 and 13 years, who he supports on a wage of $5 a day. When Luis was 17 years old, he was injured playing soccer. After his injury, he continued to feel pain, and with time and perhaps as a result of the work he does, both his hips progressively became completely ankylosed in bad position. His right leg was permanently rotated 45 degrees outwards and hyper extended, giving him a cross-legged stance, and a sideways gait resembling that of a crab. Walking was very difficult and painful for him, yet he lived this way for over 20 years and continued working in the fields supporting his family.

With the help of a doctor at a local copper mine, Ascendant Copper, SA, Luis was able to make the 6 hour trip with his wife to Operation Rainbow’s Sunday clinic in Quito. Our doctors performed a realignment osteotomy on the second day of surgeries, and the transformation was amazing. The day after his surgery, and with crutches provided by Operation Rainbow, Luis was up and walking the hallway. He was smiling from ear to ear, even though he must have been in serious post-op pain. He walked so much that his leg started to swell, and he was forced to rest in bed for the remainder of the day. Luis’s stance is now much improved, his legs no longer crossed.

Speaking with Luis later, he told us he feels reborn, and he can’t wait to get back home and to work so he can continue to support his family.

Luis still needed a total hip replacement on the left side, and on a recent mission to Cuenca, Ecuador, in October, Operation Rainbow performed that operation. Luis will now be able to live pain free and to walk with a much better gait. We were all very pleased to see Luis again and to witness his determination to get on with life.