An Act of Love

A young boy from Guatemala was destined to live a life of pain until a group of doctors from Savannah stepped in to make a difference.

Here’s a name you’ll want to get familiar with…. Donald McCartney, MD, a Pediatric Orthopedist.

This Optim Surgeon here in Georgia, donated his own time to perform surgery. Not impressed yet? Just wait.

Another name you need to know: Carlos Polanco, a 15 year old teen from Guatemala had a 95-degree curve in the lower part of his spine and an 88-degree curve in the upper part of his spine, that was beginning to compress his lungs. Carlos Polanco was born with scoliosis but it wasn’t caught until he was 12 years old, when one shoulder was raised higher than the other. Yaquelin “Jackie” Mendoza, Carlos’ mom, called Doctor Edgar Gomez, Chief of Orthopedics at the National Hospital of Guatemala. Dr. Gomez patched her through to Dr. McCartney, who routinely made trips to Guatemala to help with pediatric orthopedic cases down there.


Actual x-ray of Carlos Polanco's back before surgery shows the extreme curvature that he was living with before Optim changed his life.

There was a problem here, though, for Jackie and her family. Carlos’ case was so severe the only option was surgery. An expensive surgery.

Dr. McCartney brought Carlos and his mother to the states to be able to perform the surgery at the Optim Surgery Center, and he spent 7 hours (and 5 minutes) operating on the teen. Without Optim Surgery Center donated the surgery and Dr. McCartney donating his time, this surgery would not have been possible. 

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