A young girl from the Ivory Coast, West Africa, recently received a unique procedure helping to improve her ability to see and improving her overall quality of life. The patient, Nora, was born with a rare condition where her muscles that elevate the eyelids were malfunctioning or absent, requiring her to tilt her head back in order to at least partially see.
Dr. Robert Severinac, Indiana Plastic Surgery Center, in partnership with Parkview, Fort Wayne, performed the pro-bono upper eyelid surgery on Nora on Wednesday, Dec. 17. The procedure was performed at Parkview Regional Medical Center. The procedure was coordinated through Ray of Hope Medical Mission that provides medical care for children in areas where it is not available. The Ray of Hope Mission, Severinac and Parkview arranged for the patient to travel to the United States for this procedure and receive all the necessary care at no cost to the patient or her family.
“This is what the holidays are all about. Giving back, especially to those in need, and helping to improve the quality of life for a patient like Nora is one of the best gifts we can give as a hospital,” said Ben Miles, COO, Parkview Regional Medical Center.
“The best part about this type of care is that we’re able to do it throughout the year. As a not-for-profit, we provide more than $300 million in uncompensated care every year and we’re able to do so because our stakeholders are the residents who live in the communities we serve. As we give back, it makes our communities stronger and helps Parkview to further its mission of improving the health and well-being of the communities we serve.”
To help treat Nora’s condition, Severinac surgically attached Nora’s eyelid to a muscle in her forehead that would allow her to use her forehead muscles to elevate her eyelids. The healing process for the procedure will take approximately six to eight weeks. Once healed, Nora will be able to see and function normally. This is the fourth surgery Severinac has done for Ray of Hope Medical Missions.
During Nora’s stay in Indiana she will remain under the care of her host family, Todd and Heather Buckmaster. Todd and Heather have been a host family for one other Ray of Hope Medical Missions child and will provide living arrangements, emotional and physical support and medical care.