Our primary responsibility is currently serving as the director of a Spine Rehabilitation Center and providing therapy and treatment for children with developmental disabilities in Southeast Asia. Prior to this project, no official specialization existed for treating Cerebral Palsy children in this country. Cerebral Palsy was either considered to be untreatable or treated with lack of expertise. Worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3.3 children out of every 1,000 birthed children are affected by Cerebral Palsy. Therefore, specialized treatment of Cerebral Palsy is a great need with a conservative number of approximately 30,000-40,000 children with Cerebral Palsy throughout the country I'm serving in.
We envision Cerebral Palsy children here physically transformed to their full potentials, attending school, and contributing to society as they enter adulthood. Our mission is to provide adequate treatment to children and training of doctors in physiotherapy and exercise therapy enabling treated Cerebral Palsy children to enter mainstream society.
We began treatment of Cerebral Palsy children in conjecture with the developing Spine Research Center at the local medical school in April 2012. Currently, several cerebral palsy children have and are receiving physiotherapy and exercise therapy in one room of the Medical School Children’s Ward. Three rehabilitation doctors are being trained to provide daily treatment to these children. Despite our current limited capabilities of treating cerebral palsy children, those who are being treated are being physically transformed.
To provide more widespread treatment, we are currently working in collaboration with the medical school to train doctors and provide facilities for the treatment of cerebral palsy children. A cohort of ten doctors is working together to develop the curriculum for the Spine Research Center. Thus far, ten textbooks have been compiled for the curriculum of the Spine Research Center, including two textbooks specifically on Cerebral Palsy Therapy.
With our long-term residence in Pyongyang, ongoing research in the Spine Center will carefully track the number of patients being treated, the kinds of treatment they receive, the outcomes of their treatment, and the length of time each patient receives treatment. Spine Research Center will be evaluated on the basis of two factors: 1) Effective treatments and the 2) Successful training of specialists. Medical research and records will carefully evaluate the effectiveness of each patient’s treatment.
The number of students entering the graduate specialty program in Cerebral Palsy rehabilitation medicine and successfully completing the program with certification will be monitored and evaluated. In addition, the program will keep track of its graduates, where they practice, and the number of Cerebral Palsy children treated through their practice.
We have personally experienced many breakthroughs in mindset and perspectives through building personal relationships with the people we work with. More than anything, it is the emphasis on the value of life that we are making through treating children with developmental disabilities that is speaking the loudest.
Children with developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, and many other disabilities are often neglected at home or even left to die. Through our medical project, we are living out the love of God for the "least of the least".
50-70. However, once the center is completed, we will have the capacity to treat up to 450 out-patient and 30 in-patients per day.
The MedSend grant has allowed me to be on the field. Without the MedSend grant, our family could never afford to leave the U.S. and be in missions work. This MedSend grant is one major contributing factor to allowing me to answer God's call in serving people in need.