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Lonnie’s back after surgeries

Lonnie’s back after surgeries


Four months ago when SEARCHLIGHT first interviewed Lonnie Robinson – a final year Community College student who was in dire need of reconstructive surgery following a bad accident – the expression on his face showed nothing but despair. Today, his despondency has been erased and he is able to muster a smile after three successful surgeries in the United States.{{more}}

Most importantly, Robinson’s pain has been reduced and come September he is hoping to be back in college to complete his studies. The Rotary Club South partnered with the International Hospital for Children (IHC), Robinson’s operations were facilitated by the MCV Medical Hospital in Virginia free of charge -surgeries that might have cost over US$500,000.The surgeries were conducted on March 22, March 29 and April 6.

The first surgery corrected a leak from Robinson’s brain by implanting two steel plates in his skull to seal the three holes through which fluid once flowed.

His second surgery was done on the lower section of his right jaw. Robinson said this area was rebroken and placed in its correct position and areas where bones were missing, artificial bones were used as well as two metal plates.

The final surgery was the longest, spanning a period of nine hours. This is where the doctors worked on his nerves in his left arm.

Robinson is confident that on that day amidst all the miracles that have occurred in his life, he is confident that one did happen. He said the doctors had already shaven his leg to remove nerves there to transplant them to his arm to replace those that had been damaged there.

The young man claimed that while operating on his left shoulder the doctors realized that they had no need to remove the nerves from his leg because more nerves were left intact in his arm than they had anticipated.

“I knew I was in the hand of God,” said Robinson.

Up until October 9, 2005, the 18-year-old Peniston lad led a normal life. He was dynamic in the activities at the Community College and held the post of President of the Student Council with big dreams of becoming a meteorologist.

However, on that fateful day Lonnie was involved in a serious accident while riding his bicycle in Campden Park, which almost claimed his life.

He suffered a severe trauma to his head, a six-inch skull fracture, face and dental trauma, and severe nerve injury that has caused paralysis to his left arm. He also suffered wastage of the muscle in that arm resulting from the dislocation of his left shoulder. And in addition, he had been placed on a meningitis watch.

Robinson is expressing thanks to the Rotary Club of St.Vincent South, International Hospital for Children, the General Public, Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves, Minister of Health Dr. Douglas Slater, Dr.Bharati Datta and Florentino Batista, Cuba’s Vision Co-ordinator.