August 21, 2007

Doctor’s report

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 8:37 pm

I have finally reached Ely. I could not get a hold of her from Wednesday until Sunday. We were desperate for news both about Presli and about the earthquake.

When I did finally get through, she told me that Presli was at the hospital and had slept through the whole thing! Meanwhile, she and her son were at the hotel in La Oroya on the highest floor she had ever been on – the ninth! Anyway, she felt the building go left then right then left then right, etc. She started to panic and her three year old son started to scream. She had never been in an earthquake that strong, nor ever been so high up. Understandably she was a bit freaked out. As her son later told the story, the man under the floor (the downstairs hotel “neighbor”) was a bad man because he was making their floor shake. Ah, kids!

Immediately, she got out of the hotel and went to check on Presli. He knew nothing and was peacefully lying there while the staff of the hospital was in emergency mode all around him.

So, back to Presli. He did finally receive his surgery over one week later than planned. In the meantime, he had a nice time at the clinic and bonded very strongly to Ely, telling her as he went under the anesthesia “I love you. I wish you were my own mom”. Of course, Ely was so moved that she was shooting tears (that’s how she described the moment). Presli’s surgery was about 3.5 hours long, from what I could make out on our crackly and tenuous cell-to-cell connection across the Pacific. There were a few other details that I could not make out, but she will be sending a full report in a few days.

Here is a letter to Dr. Capozzi from the lead doctor on the team (more to follow as it comes in): (FTSG is a full-thickness skin graft)

“After 2 cancellations because of illness I operated on Presley on the 16th. I did 3 FTSG’s from the supraclavicular area. One was on the right medial lower lid to repair a lower lid ectropion and release a medial canthal fold. The other two filled in the areas after a upper and lower lip release. The upper lip graft was the entire upper lip to the NL folds, a cosmetic unit graft. I spoke to a local surgeon about his aftercare and especially how to remove the stent dressings and when. I would anticipate a good result.
He will need a forhead flap nasal resconstruction in the future. Pehaps a tunneled subgcutaneous flap would be best t avoid having to cut and inset it.
Hal Rosenfield.”
I know that the letter contains a lot of medical jargon, but basically they opened up his right eye near on the nose side and they released some of the scar tissue that keeps his lips from closing by adding skin from just above his collarbone. If you want more info about FTSG, Dr. Capozzi said it’s easily found on Google.
We are so pleased that Presli’s treatments have gone this far and has been successful. We are excited about the prospects of future procedures and his future in general.
We would like to thank Ely with all our hearts. She really is the flesh and blood of PDC. Keep her and her family and their charity in your prayers and thoughts. Peru was effected all over, even as far in the hills as Chupaca. The damage to the buildings was not great, nor was there loss of life, but her school program was the victim of looting. Some of their student desks and other supplies were taken. As it is, they don’t have enough desks, seats, paper or anything else for the students they teach in the five schools free of charge. Ely and Nilton have given all they have to this community and some uncaring individuals took advantage of a tragedy for personal gain.

If you would like to make a direct contribution to Peru Luz de Esperanza, Ely’s volunteer program, please let us know and we will tell you how to wire them money through for a very small fee (it’s like 7%). In fact, the fees may still be waived due to Peru’s crisis. For donations to aid in the relief efforts for the cities that were destroyed, go to or and look for the trust account that they have established, or I can send you instructions that we received from the wire service. Remember, the dollar goes very far, so even $10 or $20 does make a huge difference.

On a lighter and happier note, the concert arrangements are just about 100% completed. We look forward to seeing you at the show on September 1. Hopefully we will have after-pictures of Presli to share with you!

Lisa and Sherrill Sturm

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