Meet Candy
candy posing with a doctor

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Candy is a 12 year old patient from the Dominican Republic. When she was 7 years old, Candy had Dengue fever and was unconscious for 9 days. Due to complications from infection, the illness caused a narrowing of her airway that resulted in her not being able to speak or breathe properly. It is an understatement that Candy has been through a lot, from contracting the terrible fever to getting a tracheostomy to aid with her breathing and then later on going through a failed extubation. While it is unimaginable to think about how defeating this failed extubation must have been when Candy and her family were hoping it would be the start of a return to normal life, Candy has remained incredibly resilient throughout.

candy with doctor and one other patient smiling

Candy smiles alongside Dr. Zelda Ghersin and another patient. 

Candy playing the hair of a nurse

Candy underwent surgery during this past DR mission in November where the Operation Airway surgeons extracted and carved a piece of her rib so that they could use it to widen her airway. This was the first time we were attempting to do a surgery with this level of difficulty in the DR and the cooperation and camaraderie between the American and local doctors was incredible to see.

Thankfully, all went fantastically and Candy has successfully recovered.

Candy’s mom told us, “I hope to be able to provide strength to other women and I know my daughter will help other kids because she wants to be an otolaryngologist when she grows up.”

We are so lucky to be a part of Candy’s journey and can’t wait to see what she will accomplish!

We are so lucky to be a part of Candy’s journey and can’t wait to see what she will accomplish!

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Bring in the smiles!

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