Fabi is a young girl that was first seen at the Global Spine Outreach clinic in May of 2015 in Chihuahua, México. Her smile immediately captivated the GSO team as soon as she entered the clinic room.
When Fabi was born, the doctor delivering her immediately knew something was wrong. Fabi had the most severe form of Spina Bifida, also know as a myeolomeningocele, which is a defect of the spine and spinal cord where the baby’s backbone and spinal cord to not form or close normally and are outside of their back. In México, 2 out of 1,000 babies are born with this debilitating condition.
To further complicate issues, when Fabi was born there were no surgeons available that could perform the surgery she needed to close her back. There also were no ambulances that could take her to a hospital that had the specialized surgeons that she needed. The doctor that delivered Fabi knew that he had to take her to the capital where that she could receive the emergency care that she needed.
Fabi´s surgery was complicated as her exposed spine had to be aligned, the gap along her back had to be sutured, and she needed a valve inserted in her head to drain the excess fluid that had accumulated on her brain.
Due to Fabi´s condition her mother was told that her daughter would never walk, and she would face other challenges due to compromised motor skills. As Fabi grew older she developed Scoliosis, which added additional stress on her where just sitting in her special chair was painful for her.
When the GSO team of volunteers met Fabi for the first time, her sweet character and strong will immediately formed an impression on everyone in the room. Drs. Rinella and Nomoto, along with the Mexican surgeon leader, Dr. Enrique Rosales, performed a surgery that placed 2 metal rods and a number of screws down her entire back holding her spine straight. This surgery significantly improved her quality of life and Fabi can now sit up straight in her wheelchair, she has more room for her lungs to breath, and has more room in her stomach to hold food. Fabi’s mom says Fabi has given another chance at life, and she now smiles bigger than ever.