AUSTIN - Two years ago, Rahsaan Abel noticed a serious change in posture. His rib cage began to stick out and he noticed his spine was aligned incorrectly.
“The spine started to bend into the rib cage side,” he said. “Right side here kept pushing out and right."
It became painful and he and his father Desmond consulted with doctors only to find out they didn't have the equipment to help.
“They don't have the right doctors. They don't have nothing to do it," Rahsaan Abel said.
The complicated and expensive surgery to fix his spine was not possible in Guyana because the resources are not available. And the situation only grew worse.
"It was a period of hopelessness,” said his father Desmond Abel. “As a father, your child comes to you complaining. And you don't know what to do."
This is where SpineHope stepped in. The Austin-based nonprofit matches doctors in the US with children in developing countries in need.
Surgeon Matthew Geck is volunteering to fix the 16-year-old's spine at Dell Children's Hospital.
"Every single consulting physician from the pediatric ICU, to the radiologists, to the anesthesiologists has donated their time,” said Dr. Geck.
Rahsaan will undergo complex scoliosis reconstruction Thursday morning.
"His spine will be straight, well-aligned,” said Dr. Geck.
Rahsaan’s father said his son wants to become a mechanical engineer.
“I trust after this that he can have normalcy in his life,” said Desmond Abel.
And Rahsaan is ecstatic to be in the United States for the first time. He will recover in Austin at the Ronald McDonald House until next month.
However, there are many kids still waiting for surgeries. If you would like to learn more about SpineHope CLICK HERE.
Or if you want to volunteer, you can CLICK HERE.
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