Help Save Baby Rafael’s Leg! 2-Year-Old Needs Surgery in West Palm Beach
Rafael Lee, a sweet and intelligent 2-year-old Jamaican boy, has a rare bone condition called Tibial Hemimelia (TH).
TH, which can strike either one or both legs, has made little Rafael’s right leg much shorter than the other. His right knee and ankle are deformed, making walking a dream for this bright boy and his loving parents.
The disease affects approximately one-in-one-million births, making it likely that there are no more than three cases in all of Raphael’s home of Jamaica, according to members of the orthopedic team at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).
Rafael’s mother, Sherika Harris noticed a problem with her only child’s leg when he was just two days old. A week later, X-rays were done, and the diagnosis given. “We were told to see UHWI orthopaedic surgeons,” added Sherika.
But the news from the specialists was not good. Many of the team had not ever seen the condition and some had never heard of it.
“The medical team told me amputation was their preferred choice but his pediatrician referred us to A Hospital in Florida,” said Sherika.
The pediatrician also told the family that a similar case was successfully treated in Iran.
Rafael’s family gathered funds in order for him to be seen at The Paley Institute in West Palm Beach, FL.
To the delight of his parents, Rafael was examined by Dr. Paley, founder of The Paley Institute in the United States, who determined that the child has an excellent chance of gaining close to the full function of his right leg.
Thankfully, Rafael has been offered reconstructive surgery at the Paley Institute, but high financial cost of surgery needed for the 2-year-old is beyond what his parents can afford.
The Paley Institute in West Palm Beach has successfully performed reconstructive surgery on children born with the same deforming medical condition as Rafael, dramatically changing their lives. The pioneering work of Dr Paley has been so successful, that he was featured on Oprah and ABC News 20/20.
View The Paley Institute on Oprah at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aARHWUm2mPA
Harris says her son needs a series of three surgeries and follow-up therapy which will cost approximately $250 thousand.
With your help, Rafael will be the first Jamaican child to receive this corrective surgery, thus setting a trend for future children, throughout the region and the world.
For information on donating to help save Rafael’s leg: GoFundMe.com/caribeanaid-rafael.
Please consider ending 2017 by helping Rafael. Together we can make a difference for this child and others yet to come.
“Our family thanks you immensely, we are most grateful and send you all love.” Sherika Harris
Rafael’s father added, “This for us is not a sad story. We see this as an opportunity to bring awareness to the condition and hope that Dr Paley may be able to partner with doctors here and in the Caribbean. If this expertise is available, I don’t see why our doctors here can’t partner with him.”
The parents hope that the first surgery for their son can be scheduled for February 2018.