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Abigail: 100,000 Reasons to Celebrate

Abigail was born with syndactyly (fused fingers) on both of her hands. If Abigail had been born in the United States, the condition would have been treated with a fairly routine surgery and she would go on to lead a normal life. But Abigail wasn’t born in the United States; she was born in Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, a country with only three hand surgeons. Abigail was destined to live a life of hardships and ridicule, just like her mother, Yovanna, who also suffers from syndactlyly.

Fortunately for Abigail, her story has a happy ending – or more accurately – a happy beginning. At the tender age of 21 months, the ReSurge surgical team freed Abigail’s fingers during a recent clinic in La Paz. That procedure was one of 100,000 free surgeries ReSurge International has performed.

Each of the 100,000 surgeries has helped a young child or adult move away from a life of disability and estrangement to a life filled with possibility, engagement and productivity. It’s a large number; one worthy of commemoration.

Dr. Donald Laub, our founder, performed the first surgery back in 1969. When Dr. Laub treated Antonio, who was born with a cleft lip, he couldn’t possibly imagine the movement he inspired. Forty-four years, 99,999 surgeries and thousands of medical partners and volunteers later, ReSurge International continues to change lives and impact communities.

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