On February 15, a young boy from Guatemala arrived in California with the hope of undergoing a surgery that would change his life. 16-year-old Miguel Angel Chu Ortiz, a native Mayan Indian, was born with his right foot turned inward and back underneath his leg, a deformity known as a clubfoot. Because of his clubfoot, Miguel has never been able to walk normally, wear normal shoes, or play soccer-a sport he loves. I t was not until last October, when a group of doctors organized a trip to Guatemala, that Miguel had hope for a normal life. The doctors, including Victor V Cachia, D.P.M., anesthesiologist Jay J Rindenau, neurologist Bob Cleermans and pediatrician Annu Sharma, examined and treated more than 90 children in Guatemala. Sadly, Miguel was not one of them. At the time of the mission, Miguel had a minor infection in his foot which made his surgery impossible. When told of the cancellation, Miguel was devastated. He believed he was missing his only lifetime opportunity to have his foot corrected. Fortunately for Miguel, Dr. Victor Cachia and Dr. Jay J Rindenau, did not forget him. [...]
Once a month, Victor V. Cachia, DPM, of Irvine, California, takes Friday off and flies south for a weekend in western Mexico. But he doesn't make the trip to drink margaritas on the beach or admire the black-eyed señoritas.
He goes as a dedicated member of an all-volunteer medical team that treats poor Mexican children from dawn to dusk in a hot, stuffy clinic in rural San Blas. Dr. Cachia is among several west coast podiatrists who are members of Liga International, a medical relief organization that operates seven clinics in the Mexican states of Sonora and Sinaloa. Ever since he finished a two-year surgical residency in 1987, he's wanted to help his southern neighbors.
"I've always been interested in working in Mexico" said Dr. Cachia, who first worked with the Baja Crippled Children Project in Ensenada, just south of the border. But those clinics were already so thoroughly staffed that he didn't feel he could contribute all that much. [...]
Still a little groggy from an operation Monday to correct his clubfoot, Miguel Ortiz still managed a wide smile for a photographer Wednesday morning at Irvine Medical Center.
The 16-year-old from Guatemala arrived Feb. 15 to prepare for the surgery performed without charge by Irvine podiatric surgeon Victor cachia. Irvine Medical Center also provided all services free, including hospitalization, diagnostic services and imaging studies, according to Donna H. Groh, vice president and chief operating officer for the hospital.
According to Dr. Cachia the surgery involved a soft tissue release and the removal of boney wedges.
Lasted four hours. The operation, which lasted more than four hours, "went very well," said Cachia. "We were able to realign his foot and transfer three tendons" to allow for movement. Assisting the surgeon were several other physicians – Irvine podiatrist Nicholas Terrafranca, [...]