Healing Hands: Joseph and Adriana

Joseph is a 7-year-old boy from El Alto, Bolivia. He was born with syndactyly, a condition in which his fingers were fused together on both hands.

Without the use of his hands to perform the simple tasks we often take for granted, such as holding a pencil, Joseph’s eagerness to perform well in school was overshadowed by his hand abnormality.

His sister, Adriana, was also born with syndactyly. Playing with other children or having hopes of someday going to work and leading a productive life seemed impossible, especially when their family did not know that anything could be done. There are only three hand surgeons in Bolivia, the poorest country in South America.

But hope arrived at a nearby hospital in La Paz, where a ReSurge surgical team operated on Joseph’s and Adriana’s hands during a trip in May 2013. Surgeons were able to release their fingers and restore mobility to their hands.

Joseph was very excited to undergo surgery, especially because he hopes to become a pilot one day. His positive attitude calmed both his sister and several of our other young patients. They have recovered well and are expected to travel back to the clinic with their mother for follow-up visits and physical therapy.