Heroes in Honduras: Dr. Michael Forseth, M.D.
A little boy’s journey to restoration, and a new lease on life thanks to the medical mission team from Summit Orthopedics.
This little boy lives in Honduras. Where he calls home, machetes are part of normal life and used often for farming, with the oldest to the young children wielding these tools to help support the family’s livelihood. In one moment – it was an accident – a machete cut through this little boy’s hand, severing the tendons that allowed his fingers to move. In a normal situation in the medical system of Honduras, the family would have to travel to the capital to set up an appointment, because that is the only way to do so, and then travel back home only to return on the appointment day. Then after the appointment if surgery was needed, the family would then have to buy all the medical supplies that would rival their salary for months if not a year. If they could afford to have the procedure they would travel again to have the surgery done. All too often, the mounting costs of surgery would financially decimate already poor families.
But this would not be his story.
His family heard about a surgery center located on the ranch of Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, an orphanage in the mountainous region. The Holy Family Surgery Center was started by Summit surgeon Peter Daly, M.D. and his wife, LuLu, and is dependent on volunteer staff that pays their own way to travel to Honduras to provide medical and surgical care. The surgery center is also funded by the donations of others who believe in the worthiness of the cause.
Through the work of a translator, the family was told about every step of the surgery process and that there would be no cost to them. Dr. Michael Forseth, M.D., who back home has a busy practice at Summit Orthopedics and is well respected as a hand specialist, was there in Honduras as one of the three surgeons from Summit Orthopedics donating their time.
As the little boy drifted into sleep from the anesthesia, I witnessed something remarkable: restoration. It was restoration not only of this little boy’s hand, but restoration of a future that would no longer be defined by lack of function. A team of medical professionals from Summit and across the United States, who had not worked together before that day, came together to give this family a first world surgical outcome in their third world environment.
This is his surgery story captured in pictures, through my lens.
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