“The tendency of man’s nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.” – Mencius 372-289 B.C.
Many doctors excel in their work. Some are the envy of their profession. But what really matters of every physician is that their skills are used to truly serve humanity, to help those with medical needs who can’t help themselves. That’s part of what HCA teaches us. That’s the modality of our nature as a healthcare service provider, to better the human condition.
Dr. Justin Bundy, a spine surgeon at Doctors Hospital of Augusta, Georgia, in combined effort with the Straight Caribbean Spine Foundation, has realized a humanitarian need to help scoliotic children in Kingston, Jamaica by providing them with free lifesaving spine surgeries.
“When I heard about this opportunity, I knew I had to take it,” said Dr. Bundy.
Amazingly, he is one of only two spine surgeons in the region.
“The country has only 20 orthopedic surgeons, none of whom perform spinal surgeries on pediatric patients,” says Dr. Bundy. “On our first of seven days, the amount of people who showed up to the clinic was overwhelming. We had about 80 families bring their children from across the country, hoping that they would be candidates for the surgery.”
He says he performed, by his estimates, thirty-five scoliosis surgeries in the five days of his visit, beginning at 7am and working through to 7pm.
To give you some perspective, in the U.S. a typical spine surgeon performs one to two surgeries a week.
Bundy notes, “Some of these surgeries were very complicated. One patient in particular was 18 years old, had never seen a physician and had a 120 degree curve in his back.”
Surgery patients stayed in the hospital for one week, receiving free follow-up care from the Straight Caribbean Spine Foundation.
There are more than seven million children in the U.S. living with scoliosis, with an average cost of surgery required to help heal the spine in the upper $80,000.
“These families have nothing and were so grateful. If we weren’t there to help, some of these children could have died because the curves in their backs would continue to crush their organs,” says Dr. Bundy. “This is by far the most professionally rewarding thing I have ever done and I’m so glad I did it.”
In October, Dr. Bundy will make his second trip to Kingston, Jamaica to have follow-up visits with his former patients and to perform surgeries on new patients.
You are a true humanitarian, Dr. Bundy.