In partnership with World Pediatric Project, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia medical staff members can offer their expertise and services to children all around the world who might not otherwise have access to care.
An international nonprofit, World Pediatric Project provides children with access to life-changing surgical care. Through its traveling medical teams and U.S. referral program, over 2,000 children a year receive treatment they would not have access to in their native regions. Orthopaedic surgeons Joshua Pahys, M.D., and Steven W. Hwang, M.D., have both collaborated with World Pediatric Project, traveling to the Caribbean to perform spine surgeries for children experiencing pain and compromised lung capacity due to scoliosis. With help from World Pediatric Project, our staff is able to secure donated supplies, airfare and lodging during their visits.
Dr. Pahys traveled to Barbados for a medical trip for the first time in October 2018. “The trip was truly a life-changing experience for me. It gave me such a wonderful and much-needed dose of perspective to see how much good a small group can do when everyone focuses their energy towards a common goal,” said Pahys. “It was my first of I hope many more mission trips with World Pediatric Project.”
In addition to facilitating visits from U.S.-based medical teams, World Pediatric Project brings international patients to our hospital for care, securing visa appointments, travel and housing arrangements, and interpreters for patients and their families. Chief of Staff Scott Kozin, M.D., and Dr. Hwang have treated international patients at the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital and overseen their recovery until their return home.
Deniesha first began to notice signs of scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, when she was 9. Now 15, Deniesha and her mother knew that they would need to travel to the United States for surgery. They contacted World Pediatric Project and they arranged for Deniesha and her mother to travel from their native Barbados for treatment at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia.
Despite the difficulty of a complex, lengthy spine surgery, Deniesha was excited about the opportunities this treatment would give her. “I was bullied due to my scoliosis. It was really hard on me,” said Deniesha. “I’m excited about this surgery so I can be a normal teenager. Thank you to Shriners and World Pediatric Project for making me the person I am now.”