RANCHO MIRAGE – News Channel 3 is following the International Medical Alliance to Ecuador for a second straight year. Last year, hundreds of people who have no access to health care were treated by American doctors. Many of those doctors are from here in the Coachella Valley. This year’s trip will do the same, and it’s going to be extra special for one little girl who will get a life-changing surgery.
Tania, 9, touched the lives of the American doctors last year. She has Goldenhar Syndrome and was born without the left side of her jaw. She alsoeas born without a left ear canal and inner ear. She can’t hear and can only eat soft foods.
“Socially, these kids and families suffer from looking different,” oral surgeon Dr. Peter Scheer said about the children he takes care during the medical mission. “They have breathing problems and they’re malnourished and behind on growth.”
This year, Dr. Scheer and IMA are working to bring Tania back to the U.S. with them. He says this is a much better setting for her to get the surgeries she needs to have her jaw reconstructed. She will need a series of surgeries and will need to be in the US for about three months.
To get Tania here is a big undertaking and IMA is working with Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack to get her an emergency visa. The surgeries will be free for Tania. Dr. Scheer is donating his time and skill, and Desert Regional Medical Center is providing the operating room and supplies.
For more information on Assignment Ecuador, visit the International Medical Alliance website at www.internationalmedicalalliance.org.