Life-Changing Surgery for Teenage Boy from Guatemala


Thanks to Dell Children’s Medical Center and Austin charity SpineHope, one young man is now able to walk tall. Fourteen-year-old Samuel Esteban, of Guatemala, suffered from kyphoscoliosis, a disorder which left him in pain much of the time. His spine had twisted front to back, and curved outward 180 degrees. With the help of SpineHope, Samuel was able to fly to Austin and have the team at Dell Children’s, led my Dr. Matthew Geck, perform the much-needed surgery. The team was able to straighten out Samuel’s spine using “halo-gravity traction” technology.

“It’s putting sort of moderate weights in tractions,” Dr. Geck noted. “He walks around with a special walker.” After three weeks in traction, Samuel’s spine is almost straight, and he is three inches taller. Had the condition not been fixed, Dr. Geck said he was at high risk at some point for actually going paralyzed.

Samuel’s mother, Marleny Esteban, said she is grateful for the wonderful doctors at Dell Children’s Medical Center. “I will be eternally grateful for them,” said Marleny. “Because I know that Samuel will have a full life.”

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