The Hunt Foundation has provided education, training and resources necessary to help equip medical teams throughout Africa with a means to provide critical care and therapy to individuals suffering from complex medical ailments such as brain tumors and spinal cord injuries.
A former patient that runs an orphanage in Addis for HIV+ kids known as “AHOPE for Children” reached out to the Hunt brothers regarding a friend’s niece, Yael. She had been suffering from an advanced form of scoliosis that was interfering with her day to day life at age 8 and would only get worse as time went on. He was looking for any professional advice in reversing or managing this disruptive postural development.
Dr. Leonel Hunt was quick to respond, letting them know actions that needed to be taken to help reduce any further curving of her spine. He also provided them with a contact he knew in Addis who could potentially help Yael until she reached a point in her growth where surgical intervention would be required.
As time went by, Yael’s parents had received MRI’s and had gotten her a fitted back brace from Thailand, keeping the Hunt brothers informed throughout her medical course. One day an opportunity had arose for Dr. Gabriel Hunt to come out to Addis and meet Yael face to face. This allowed him to inspect the brace they had acquired, and found it had been poorly fitted to her and would not slow the progression of the scoliosis while she was still growing.
Working with the former patient that had originally contacted the Hunt brothers, they arranged for Yael to come to visit Los Angeles and be further evaluated by them at Cedars. Acquiring high quality X-rays completely free of charge, and being fortunate enough to have Lerman & Sons create a fully custom molded TLSO scoliosis brace for her. Their plan was to send her back to Addis and use the brace as long as they could until she was a little more skeletally mature and ready for surgery.
A trip was planned for May, 2015 and on its agenda the brothers decided to move up the timing of her surgery and take care of her while they were there. They had all the necessary arrangements made, including donation of implants and surgical instruments that would be used for her surgery.
Yael’s surgery was scheduled and performed by the Hunt brother 4 months later. This surgery was a success. Not only did it greatly lessen the lateral curvature of her spine, it also increased her performance in day to day activities.
This is an email from her father:
“Yael is doing well! She has been studying to make-up for the lessons she missed due to her sickness. Her appetite is normal and she is physically strong, with no pain. Her emotion is gradually coming back to expectation. Whenever she meets kids in her age group or is with her friends, she tends to want play. We allow her but closely monitor her with restrictions. She is reminded all the time that she needs to take it easy so that she fully recovers from the surgery. Constantly she is wishing that her 6 months post operation will be today or tomorrow so that she can fully go out and play with the other kids.
Overall she is doing well thanks to you and god. Let me tell you, Yael is very respected and well known as a exemplar to her classmates as well as our church friends. Whoever visits and hears of her story and recovery never hesitates to thank and bless the doctors who performed this life rescuing operation. Whenever we see her on her feet and doing all her routine life actions, our eyes are full with tears of joy because of you. We will never stop thanking you and your team for all the work that you have do and have done, especially for our daughter.” - The Father
Yeal's story is one of the many patients that have been helped by the Hunt brothers and the Hunt Foundation.