Thanks to the help of Forever Young Foundation and some good-hearted Provo residents, a Russian woman will soon watch her children have better use of their hands.
Elena Gordeeva's daughter and son are afflicted with a congenital defect that prevents the development of the radius bone in their forearms.The disability greatly restricts what use Ksusha, 10, and Valya, 4, have of their hands.
While teaching English in Russia, Brigham Young University student Mark Mason met the Goordevas and wanted to help the family.
Mason said he was alarmed by the deplorable conditions of the hospital where the children were scheduled to have surgery. In fact, the children's father was told to supply pain medication for them.
The night before they were scheduled to go under the knife, Mason called his mother and asked for her aid in finding another option for the children.
"I thought something else could be done," he said.
Mason's mother, Loreli, who lives in Provo and was a volunteer at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, contacted Dr. Blayne Hirsche.
Hirsche, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, agreed to do the procedure for free, and the Forever Young Foundation consented to fund their trip to the United States.
Gordeeva and the children arrived in Provo on Aug. 12.
"These kids need help, and I'm glad to be of service," Hirsche said. "The medical facilities and the equipment in Russia are generally inadequate. They can be best treated here. I think it's a goodwill gesture."