Falling Through the Cracks: Orphaned Medical Needs Children

Falling Through the Cracks: Orphaned Medical Needs Children

Remember the Conjoined Twins all the news channels were recently reporting about?  It was a miracle that they were able to get the medical treatment they so desperately needed.  But that treatment had to come from the U.S., since their home country of Guatemala was unable to help the girls.  And for thousands of orphans who also need specialized surgery, that same kind of miracle will never be offered…until now. 

The problem is that children must be accompanied on these missions of mercy by a family member in order to get a medical visa to enter the United States.    Many are lucky enough to have found help within their own countries, or to be serviced by one of the many charitable groups such as Operation Smile or Heartland Medical Express that arrange for surgeries within the child’s home country.  But for others, they suffer and grow with problems such as club foot or cleft palette (both easily correctable) because the medical help is just not available.   Orphans, not having a family member to accompany them to the United States, are in most cases not allowed into the U.S.  One organization, Medical Missions, is helping to change that.

Some children with repairable heart conditions are lucky enough to be adopted before their conditions worsen as they grow larger and older….and some die.  Some with dislocated hips are never adopted and remain handicapped because they did not receive the therapy that would have given them the gift of walking.  Hundreds of doctors, dentists and nurses travel throughout the world helping children, but there is something more that could be done. 

Adoptive families are the key. Not just to adopt medically needy children, but to SPONSOR orphaned children so that may come to the U.S. and receive medical help.  Through a very new program, medically needy children from orphanages are slowly coming to the U.S. and staying with host families for up to a year as they receive necessary medical treatment.  Some are babies, others are toddlers and older children. They are from numerous countries, most recently South Korea and the Philippines.   

Ellen, an adoptive mom of a little girl from Russia has become a great advocate of the new Medical Missions program: “I would like folks to know that kids need medical help and can come to this country to get it.  I would like to express that it is a team effort to get free care and a family, but that it can be done.  These are the kids left behind, yet they add so much to a family's life.”   Ellen stated.  Recently Ellen had a 3-year-old boy with severe cleft placed with her family.  He’ll be here for awhile, says Ellen…”Well, sometimes the families get attached and then you know what happens!  This program isn’t about a child getting adopted, but often that exactly is what happens.” 

What kind of families is the Medical Missions Program searching for?

If you think you may be interested in hosting and advocating for a Medical Missions child, please contact Ellen at: email.ellen@verizon.net for more information.

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