ARLETH LOPEZ MARTINEZ
As our first US Hub patient Arleth has not only demonstrated her courage but has been an inspiration to all and we can proudly say she had a successful surgery and just recently had one of her last follow up appointments in Austin, TX.
Arleth’s case was first presented to us in early 2013. At the time her family was struggling to find Arleth the care she needed, since local doctors couldn’t find a way to treat her progressive case. So SpineHope stepped in and worked hard to get Arleth the care she deserved.
Born with a congenital scoliosis, Arleth’s deformity has been the cause of much worry, discomfort and a diminished quality of life. Then came the time for 14 year old Arleth and her mother to travel from Guatemala, anxious they arrived but it was time to give Arleth the medical attention she needed.
As we were ready to head for surgery unexpectedly Arleth got appendicitis and had to receive immediate surgery to care for that, so surgery on her spine had to be put on hold. Through Arleth’s strong will surgery on her appendix went well and we were able to proceed with spine surgery.
The day had arrived and… and there still were so many emotions to be felt; but each nurse, co-waiting-room family, and doc we passed throughout the long day of waiting reassured us that we were in good hands.The surgical expertise of Dr. Geck and the competence displayed by all of the support staff easily gave our first hub patient, Arleth and her mother “Mabel” the faith they needed to part ways at the doors of the OR.
Some 5+ hours later we were buzzed to the nurse’s desk and were informed that the surgery was over and had gone perfectly. Dr. Geck elaborated that the case had gone without complications and he couldn’t be happier with the results.
Since surgery Arleth has been recovering very well and has taught us what strength really means. She has been back to Austin, TX for follow up appointments and everything has been going great! She was even interviewed by the international spanish television channel, Univision about her story which aired on television. As well as being interviewed by another international spanish television channel, Telemundo which should be airing soon. Arleth also was the Guest of Honor at our annual fundraiser and spoke about her experience and it was truly moving.
SpineHope is truly indebted for all of the generosity and hard work of all parties involved, which include: American Airlines (their Miles For Kids program), the Austin Ronald McDonald House, Medtronic, Biotronic, Dr. Elena Ruiz (with Bee Caves Pediatrics) and most significantly Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas for making this charity case possible!
Arleth had this to say about her experience, “When I had scoliosis, people criticized me. But at the SpineHope fundraiser I faced many business-like and important people of Austin, presented my case and spoke about condition… and I was given a standing ovation. God truly takes into account your burden and that from your heart. Before I was saddened by the ugly comments made towards me, but now I feel honored by the glory of God. If you are similarly in need of something- ask God for he will hear you.”
We couldn’t be happier with they way Arleth’s journey turned out and this is exactly what we strive to do everyday, “Saving Children with Spinal Deformities Around the World.”