Changing Lives

Many of the patients CLESF doctors have treated have said that their help has been a blessing. But for CLESF and our physicians, having the opportunity to help them has been the best gift of all. Here we share some of their stories with you.

Join with us to make a difference in deserving patients’ lives. .With your support, we can continue our philanthropic mission, helping to offer quality of life to those affected by lower extremity deformities. Together, we can help them walk, run and dream.

The Story of Baby Cris

In 2006, Silvia Garcia's son Cris was born with a deformity in his left foot and leg. After seeing various doctors in a number of medical institutions, at just four months old, Cris was diagnosed with hemimelia.

Hemimelia is a congenital condition typically characterized by a shortened fibula or absence of the fibula, which causes deformity and abnormal growth in the lower extremities. According to the doctors, Cris' leg was not strong enough. He would never walk, and his local doctors thought his only alternative was amputation.

Cris’ mother would not accept these dismal options. After much research, she discovered that CLESF Chair Dr. Edgardo Rodriguez and Dr. Victor Delgadillo had treated cases similar to that of her son. At the tender age of nine months old, baby Cris underwent his first operation under the care of the CLESF team of doctors. The first operation lengthened his aquilles tendon and aligned his leg. The second procedure a few years later prepared Cris’ leg for future lengthening to accommodate his growing body.

Today, Cris is a healthy little boy. He runs, jumps, plays and dreams like other children his age. According to his mother, CLESF completely changed his life: "They gave him the chance to grow and develop and to experience total quality of life, like any normal child."

Yeffri's Journey

Two-year-old Yeffri Montoya is a native of Bogotá, Colombia. Deformity in his right leg was detected at birth, so he had a cast placed on his leg. At just two months old, he was diagnosed with hemimelia and subsequently had medical evaluations by at least 15 specialists who continually reaffirmed that the only option for Yeffri to have a 'normal life' was the amputation of his right leg.

Jeimi Rodriguez refused to accept that amputation was the only choice, even going against the beliefs of close family members. While researching Yeffri’s condition online, she came across comments by Silvia Garcia, mother of Cris. Through Silvia, Jeimi contacted Dr. Delgadillo in Guadalajara to evaluate Yeffri during a medical mission.

Yeffri's case is complex and requires a detailed and careful care and follow up, for which Jeimi, his mom, is prepared. Having struggled in Colombia with a number of doctors who declined to offer or develop a treatment for Yeffri, Jeimi has become a fighter for a very important cause: "Hearing that nobody wants to address the condition of your child and doctors tell you that the only option is amputation and the use of a prosthesis is devastating, but you cannot surrender. We must keep fighting," said Jeimi.

Yeffri underwent surgery for the first time in November 2009 by Dr. Rodriguez and Dr. Delgadillo. They applied an external fixator on his leg called the "Ilizarov Fixator", which eventually was removed. This intervention allowed him to walk with the assistance of an orthopedic shoe. Previously, walking and running was impossible for Yeffri -- he could only crawl and drag his leg, which resulted on many falls, hard hits, bumps and bruises.

Yeffri will continue to be fit with external fixators, which will help correct the deformity in his foot and gradually align his foot to the perfect angle for walking comfortably. The post-operative care will be conducted by his mother and a doctor in Colombia. it will follow a list of specific and crucial instructions that will help in achieving the best possible outcome, completely dictated by the two leading doctors of the medical mission: Dr. Edgardo Rodriguez and Dr. Victor Delgadillo. "Thanks to the doctors, my son now has the opportunity to improve his quality of life. He is a very active, happy child and having the operation only makes us even confident that there are angels in this world that help families like mine," commented Jeimi.

Support CLESF