2017 Borderless Giving Child

As they awaited the birth of their third son, Pablo, Magali and Andres Mendez were extremely excited. During Magali’s pregnancy, though, no one told her something was wrong with Pablo’s right leg. "In every ultrasound,” said Pablo’s mother, “he looked just fine. But when he was born, the doctors told us Pablo had a malformation on his right foot."

Pablo was born with Fibular Hemimelia, a birth defect because the fibular bone was missing. The loss of this bone also affected the length of Pablo’s leg and Magali and Andres were saddened to be told that Pablo now had what is described as a club foot. His case was so serious that his foot faced backwards.  "Two months after he was born,” stated Magali, “we took him to see a doctor. They applied a cast to see if that might correct his foot, but nothing happened." Worse yet, one of the doctors recommended Pablo’s leg be amputated. “But he had mobility,” implored his mother. “He could walk. Why would we amputate his leg?"

The family decided to take Pablo to the Borderless Giving Program’s annual clinic. There they met Dr. Amr Abdelgawad, a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon at El Paso Children’s Hospital. Dr. Abdelgawad remembers the situation. "That was a very tough case,” he said. “Pablo literally had one foot pointing forward and one foot pointing backwards - and that is not an exaggeration -  that’s how he walked. To see him was really very impressive."

Dr. ABD as he is known, decided to perform two surgeries; the first to correct the position of the foot and the second to lengthen the leg. The first surgery took three hours. Following both surgeries  Pablo needed to wear special positioning rings around his leg which allowed his leg to grow faster and to be the same size as the left side.

During this time, Pablo entered kindergarten and he even participated in a school dance. After wearing the rings for six months, doctors were able to remove the device and to wrap his leg in a cast to continue the correction of the position of his foot. After two months, it was time to remove the cast.

For the first time in his life, Pablo can now see his both feet pointing in the same direction. Both of his legs are now the same size and he is receiving physical therapy in Juarez as he learns to start walk normal again.

Just one surgery made the difference for Pablo between having a normal life and losing his right leg.


Through your donation to the Borderless Giving Campaign, you can change the life of kids with orthopedic conditions who have exhausted all of their chances and are looking for a miracle.