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When Isabella Lopez was born, her neonatologist referred her mother, Claudia Munoz, to an orthopedic specialist who diagnosed her baby girl with clubfoot and arthrogryposis, conditions that tighten and twist her joints and keep her from moving easily.
“At the time, I knew that she would need special care,” Munoz says. “But I didn’t know much about her conditions or the implications for her life.”
After Munoz and her husband were unable to find high-quality affordable orthopedic care in Mexico, Isabella’s orthopedist recommended the Orthopaedic Institute for Children’s (OIC’s) International Children’s Program in Calexico and Mexicali.
“He felt like they had more knowledge about our daughter’s condition,” she says. “He was confident that OIC could help her.”
Family members in the Los Angeles area housed Isabella’s family on each of their many trips to the clinic. Initially, Munoz says that she worried about expenses, as frequent trips to the clinic were often days lost at work. But because OIC provided Isabella’s care free of charge, her worry was only temporary.
Over time, as Isabella’s mobility improved, not only did OIC’s surgeon’s educate Munoz and her husband about their daughter’s conditions, they built their confidence in their ability to make decisions that could affect Isabella’s life forever.
What’s more, the kind and attentive staff at the International Children’s Program treated them like family, helping to coordinate Isabella’s follow-up care and sharing in her parents’ excitement at each new milestone achievement.
“I personally had never experienced this kind of attention and compassion,” Munoz says. “They treat Isabella, my husband and I like we are part of their family, and I’m very grateful for that.”
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