10 years ago…She lurched into the public health clinic in Codo, Brazil on two grotesquely deformed legs. She was six years old and wore only underpants. Dr. Jack Demos and Dr. Vincent Silvaggio, surgeons on a medical mission to Brazil, knew immediately that they could not treat her in Codo. She would have to return home.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 10 years since Vanda, a Surgicorps poster child, came from Brazil to the United States. Thanks to her guardian angels, Eric and Colleen Sowers, and her 2 sisters and 3 brothers, Vanda has grown into a confident, responsible, attractive young woman of 15, a young woman who will be driving soon.
Vanda and her family moved from Pittsburgh to North Carolina a few years ago. Now in the 9th grade, Vanda has run cross-country, played on softball teams, and spent countless hours cheerleading. 10 years ago, all of these physical activities would have been impossible. Thanks to Surgicorps, they now are not.
Vanda loves to shop (does she ever like to shop!), spend time with her many friends, and watch sports, especially football. She is an A-B student, whose favorite subject by far is Math. And she has plans, plans that would have been impossible to achieve just 10 years ago. Having had extensive therapy herself, Vanda would like to become a therapist herself, and bring her Surgicorps experience full circle.
10 years ago, Surgicorps started Vanda Sowers on her journey. Eric and Colleen Sowers welcomed Vanda into their family and assisted her on her way. Now it is Vanda who is beginning to strike out on her own to complete the Surgicorps mission that began in Brazil….10 years ago.