COMMUNITY: El Cantón
DIAGNOSTIC: Cataracts, cleft palate, severe contractures in both legs
In August of 2014, the patient referral team went for a consultation with Nelson Leonel Matute in the community of El Cantón. Nelson entered the Patient Referral Program at 18 years old and was first seen by the University of Pittsburg during a medical brigade in El Cantón, where he was recommended to the patient referral program.
Nelson suffers from cataracts, a cleft palate, as well as severe contractures in both legs. He had three surgeries to correct his cleft palate, but he still needs an additional surgery to help his speech impediment. Due to the severity of the contractures, Nelson is unable stand up straight, and he must use his hands to walk. Although Nelson has adapted and become very agile using all four limbs, he faces significant obstacles in his everyday life.
After his initial assessment, Dr. Bruce, the previous head of the patient referral program, believed that the contractures in Nelson’s legs were due to a folic acid deficiency in his mother during pregnancy. Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy commonly leads to birth defects with the most frequent being spina bifida and other growth problems.
Nelson had an initial consultation with an ophthalmologist who confirmed he has congenital cataracts in both eyes and needs a surgery to remove the cataracts and implant new lenses.
Nelson also meet with a pediatric orthopedic surgeon to determine what could be done to correct the contractures in his legs. The doctor said that his right leg could be straightened by resetting his bones and installing metal rods in his leg and foot. His left leg is unable to be corrected, but the doctor suggested using a prosthetic, which will allow his right leg to stand upright.
Nelson’s final consultation was with a plastic surgeon about his cleft palette. Upon further examination it was discovered that Nelson needs significant dental surgery. Nelson was able to have the frenum of his tongue (the portion of connective tissue connecting his tongue to his lower jaw) repaired during the visit, which will significantly improve his ability to speak.
Call to Action
The patient referral team is very hopeful that Nelson can greatly improve his quality of life through these procedures! Please consider donating to help Nelson improve his quality of life through various interventions. Our goal is to raise $3,500 to assist Nelson.
We would like to give a very big thank you to Dr. and Mrs. Butler from Pittsburg who were crucial in this treatment and accompanied Nelson on his initial consultation!