Sofia Goes to School
For most toddlers, using a crayon to scribble across a coloring page is a fun and easy task. But for three-year-old Sofia, those precious scribbles are the product of three months of procedures, two surgeries and dedicated physical therapy.
Sofia was born in Honduras with a rare condition called Apert syndrome. This condition left her with physical deformities in her fingers and toes as well as craniofacial deformities that put severe pressure on her brain. Without proper treatment, these deformities impact cognitive development and may cause blindness or be fatal. As a result, Sofia was unable to feed, dress or learn to care for herself. But Sofia’s mother, Angela, refused to lose sight of her dream for Sofia, including her chance to attend school one day.
World Pediatric Project partners first met little Sofia during a mission to Honduras in October. During this trip, Dr. Gary Tye, chief pediatric neurosurgeon at VCU Medical Center recommended that Sofia travel to Richmond for live-saving surgery including facial reconstruction in order for her to grow and thrive like a normal toddler.
Several months later Dr. Tye and Dr. Jennifer Rhodes, director of the VCU Center for Craniofacial Care, completed the required surgical procedures and Sofia was able to go home. Soon after getting back to Honduras, Sofia was able to hold a cup, and then a crayon, and even began helping her mother to dress her. Today, Sofia is not only coloring, but also fulfilling her lifelong dream of attending school.
To see more photos of Sofia please visit www.worldpediatricproject.org