HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Advanced medical care is heading to children of the Philippines thanks to a special partnership between a local hospital and a RIMPAC participant.
The care is aimed at helping children with a leg length discrepancy where children grow with one leg shorter than the other, according to Shriner's Hospital. This growth deficiency can cause serious problems down the road.
Local boy Keanu Cua, 8, is a patient at the Honolulu Shriners Hospital where he underwent treatment for the condition.
"We've been to different place, we've been to different hospitals, we've seen specialists from different states and even countries around the world," Cua's mother, Alisha Cua said. "The personalization and feeling like being home, it's just been a blessing you know in a time of being scared."
The procedure involved medical equipment that helped to lengthen his leg. And it's that type of equipment that was put on a RIMPAC ship Friday will be delivered to doctors in the Philippines to help other children. The shipment comes at no cost to Shriners.
"Our Chief of Staff Dr. Ono actually has went over to the Philippines and taught this procedure, the ilizarov procedure, and taught this procedure at the general hospital in the Philippines," Shriners Hospital Administrator Anton Smith said.
"This is a great opportunity to partner with another country and we just hope and pray that this will be a long term relationship that we will have," Smith added.
The Aloha Shriners fraternity worked with the Philippines Navy and Mabuhay Shriners in the Philippines to make this happen.
On Friday, the Cua ohana stepped aboard the Davao Del Sur, the ship that will be making the delivery, to present the nearly half-a-million dollars worth of equipment, and to tour the vessel.
"It was a pretty cool experience to know that we are contributing to something like this, knowing what it has done for us and for Keanu, that it's going to be done for children in the Philippines, so that's pretty cool to be a part of," Alisha said.
The delivery will be made once the ship completes RIMPAC training.