LGDA Intercedes to find help for Child in South America
In early April 2013 the Lymphangiomatosis & Gorham’s Disease Alliance (LGDA) was contacted by Dr. Mishy Lesser, a Boston-based educator, seeking assistance for a child in the Amazon jungle region of Ecuador. Dr. Lesser had just received an urgent plea for help from a former student, Ladio Dominguez, who resides in Shushufindi, Ecuador. Ladio spent two months in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 2003 as part of training program in community change agents co-directed by Dr. Lesser. Ladio reached out to Dr. Lesser on behalf of friends who were distraught that their little child, Geovana, was diagnosed with lymphangiomatosis.
Dr. Lesser knew nothing of the disease and conducted online research, which led her to the LGDA’s website. She decided to call the phone number listed on the homepage and was surprised and thrilled when LGDA President Jack Kelly answered. Jack shared with Dr. Lesser some information about lymphangiomatosis, the LGDA and its mission, and offered his assistance in finding help for this child. Thus began weeks of email exchanges and phone conversations, which led to referral by a member of the LGDA Medical Panel, Juan Carlos Lopez-Gutierrez, MD, PhD, of La Paz Children’s Hospital in Madrid, to a surgeon in Ecuador who agreed to see the child and take the case. In late May, less than two months after Ladio Dominguez had first contacted his former teacher in America about his friends’ child in Ecuador, the little girl, Geovana, had surgery.
Jack recently received photos of Geovana with her mother, both smiling and happy, with the following note: “Thanks to the Almighty; to family friend in Ecuador, Ladio Dominguez; to Dr. Mishy Lesser, of Watertown, MA; to Jack Kelly, of the LGDA, Boca Raton, FL; and especially to Dr. Juan Carlos Lopez-Gutierrez of La Paz Children’s Hospital, Madrid, and to Dr. Victor Hugo Jaramillo and his medical/surgical team in Ecuador, and all who in one way or another have contributed to solving the problem that afflicted the patient and family.”