In November 2011 we were introduced to a 40 day old baby, named “Ostin.” His family knew we assisted with medical cases in Honduras and were desperately pleading for our involvement. Ostin was born with a malformation affecting his face and neck which was so swollen we feared he would suffocate to death if he didn’t receive immediate attention. Fortunately, we have built a close relationship with Peggy Kipps of the Ruth Paz Foundation in San Pedro Sula and she often guides us to trusted physicians. Soon, Ostin was on his way to San Pedro Sula for a physical examination and ultrasound. At that time it was determined he had a lymphangioma and after consulting with physicians in Boston, the recommended treatment was injections of a drug called “OK-432” which is made in Japan. The Ruth Paz Foundation assisted us in getting this drug shipped to Honduras in January 2012.
At first we were quite optimistic, after a few injections the swelling was reduced by 60%. But then we came to a standstill. The doctors in Honduras changed their diagnosis and began treating Ostin for a hemangioma by using a drug called vincristine. Unfortunately, Ostin did not show any further improvement and the physicians had met their limits and recommended he travel to the United States for medical treatment.
For the past two years we have been presenting Ostin’s case to numerous physicians and hospitals. It’s rather time consuming and requires much persistence,while walking the fine line of “keeping Ostin in the forefront of their minds, and trying not to aggravate them with frequent inquiries.” It’s a challenge emotionally…our hopes rise so high when we have expert physicians interested in helping, who then have to refer us to an array of other departments for review and approval, and then waiting many more months until finally be told the case is not accepted due to lack of funding. Frustrating for us, devastating for our patient’s family.
And then one day in August 2014, we received a call from the Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation that they had found two physicians willing to operate and the foundation would cover the finances. EXHILARATION! We are in deep gratitude to everyone who is involved with finding treatment for Ostin including: Pilgrim Congregational Church, The Ruth Paz Foundation, The Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation, North Shore-LIJ Health System, and all the doctors and staff who have been and will be involved in his care.
Thank you for offering Ostin a brighter future. We look forward to continuing this journey along side him.