Jennifer Beatriz Nieto Garcia
To our friends and acquaintences,
I am writing you again to ask for help. I am writing on behalf of Jennifer Nieto, an eight year old girl in Barranquilla, Colombia with a serious leg problem that has permanent ramifications.
First, I wish to thank those of you who helped us provide dental services for 44 girls at the orphanage in Barranquilla. For many of the girls, it was their first visit to a dentist. Unfortunately, they all had serious dental problems and some of the girls had multiple teeth pulled and multiple cavaties filled. Dr. Fabian Moncayo Gracia graciously donated his dental services. However, the total cost of the drugs and materials was over $2000 and I had collected only 75% of what was needed. However, one man "stepped-up" and paid the remaining balance so we could have all 44 girls treated.
Now they all have toothbrushes and some professional advice on preventive care. You can see photos of our dental work at the following URL:
Jennifer suffered trauma to her right leg some time ago. Because of the previous breakage/damage, the right leg is 2 or 3 inches shorter than the left leg. If she continues to walk on this shorter leg she will suffer permanent curvature of the spine and hip displacement. The result will be permanent confinement to a wheelchair beginning as a young adult. Her X-rays are already showing some curvature of her spine and some hip displacement. However, with corrective surgery to her leg and given her young age, her spinal and hip conditions can be reversed.
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We are making progress regarding medical treatment for her in the USA. Dr. Jorge Chavez and some of his medical friends in the Tampa, Florida area have agreed to operate on Jennifer at no cost. In addition, there will be a place for Jennifer to stay and rehab after the surgery. Currently, we are searching for an economical place for her mother to stay during this period.
Dr. Chavez has informed me that there are two major options. One, if possible, the doctors will attempt to rebuild and reset her leg bones. If this is not possible, then her leg will be amputated below the knee and she will be fitted with a high-tech artifical leg. Jennifer and her mother will be in Tampa, Florida for approximately 2-3 months for surgery and rehab.
The photos of Jennifer's leg above are linked to enlarged versions. They are difficult to look at but they demonstrate the serious condition of her leg and her future health.
I am asking all of you to reach into your hearts to help Jennifer. She and her mother need money for local transportation, domestic and international travel, documents, passports, hotel rooms, etc. Our goal is to raise $4970. I will be managing the money and I assure you that it will be spent wisely.
Recently, international travel reservations were made for Jennifer and her mother. They will travel from Barranquilla to Bogota on May 3, 2004 to visit the US Embassy and obtain their visas. Then they will depart Bogota, Colombia for Tampa, Florida on May 5, 2004. The will travel on Continental Airlines (thank you for the FREE tickets), flight #882 and #1911. They will return to Colombia on August 6, 2004.
Our efforts will change her prognosis, which is sad and certain. With our help, Jennifer will walk like a normal adult the rest of her life.