Project New Hope

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

Year after year, Project New Hope finds more volunteers and funding that allows several local kids to receive medical procedures that wouldn't otherwise be possible.
This year, those involved say it's all about the kids.

"The doctors are going to take my throats out."
"Why are they going to do that?"
"Because they hurt."

5-year old Milton Rubio may only be in kindergarten, but he says he understands that his tonsils are going to be removed and although it might hurt for a while, he'll feel much better in the long run.

"Why is this so cool today?"
"Because when they take them out, when I wake-up, I'm going to go home and eat lots of ice cream."

Chris Lora is a project manager and also a surgical coordinator at St. Mary's.
She says it gets better each year.
"Project New Hope began nine years ago with one of the local plastic surgeons who approached the hospital with a child that needed a plastic surgery done. The parents had no insurance and he wanted to know how we handled this. Up to that point, we didn't have a set program for this."

But, thanks to the volunteer effort of nurses, physicians, and others, kids like Milton are able to get same-day medical procedures that won't cost his parents anything.

"So, we began by taking that first single patient and at this point, including the dental patients we've done, we have over a 150 children that we've treated."

John Francis' 7-year old daughter, Jaz, had her tonsils removed.
He says his daughter was just looking forward to feeling healthy.
"She knew it was going to help her sleep better and not feel like she wasn't able to breathe properly. It's great for people who couldn't afford it or have the financial burden of an expensive operation. It's wonderful what they're doing."

Children are referred to the program through school nurses, specialty surgical offices, and outreach clinics throughout the area.


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