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Local Physician Helps Save Lives Of Children In Jamaica

June 19, 2012

Augusta, GA – Doctors Hospital spine surgeon joins Straight Caribbean Spine Foundation helping children in Jamaica, performing free lifesaving scoliosis surgery.

“When I heard about this opportunity, I knew I had to take it,” says Dr. Justin Bundy, Spine Surgeon at Doctors Hospital. 

For years, Dr. Bundy has performed spinal surgeries at Doctors Hospital helping local patients, but now he is spreading his wings outside of the United States. He has become one of two spine surgeons with the Straight Caribbean Spine Foundation to help those in need in Kingston, Jamaica. 

“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.”

Dr. Bundy performed an estimated thirty-five scoliosis surgeries in the five days he was in Jamaica.  The days began at 7:00am and ended at 7:00pm.  A typical spine surgeon performs about one to two surgeries of this kind per week in the United States.

“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,” says Dr. Bundy. 

Once the surgeries were complete, the patients stayed in the hospital for about one week. With the help of the Straight Caribbean Spine Foundation, these patients will receive free follow-up care.

In America, more than seven million children are currently living with scoliosis.  The average cost of surgery to help heal this medical condition is $80,000 - $90,000. 

“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.  At that time he will have follow up appointments with those who received the surgery, as well as perform more surgeries on new candidates.