LIFE for two-year-old Aporosa Batini will never be the same after returning from the Shriners Children's Hospital in Hawai'i where he received reconstructive surgery to correct a birth defect.
Young Aporosa was the picture of perfect health when he touched down at Nadi Airport earlier this week from Honolulu with his father after a four-month stay. Shriners Hospital Pacific rep Rob Leacock said the toddler from Nawaka, Nadi, was born with a club foot which was corrected by surgery and physiotherapy.
Mr Leacock said another child from Suva has departed the country to receive help from the hospital.
"On Valentine's Day Pranav Ram who was born with spinal bifida and two club feet in 2008, has never walked on his own," he said.
"He had successful surgery in Suva to seal up his spinal column after he was born and he has had several surgeries to correct his clubfeet but they've been unsuccessful.
"He has been going to the Shriners Clinics for a couple of years and the doctors at the Shriners Hospital decided that this was his year to come for surgery.
"Pranav and his mother are expected to be gone for five months."
The hospital representative also revealed that six-year-old Inaya Khan of Ba left with her mother on Tuesday.
"Inaya was born with one club foot and has had treatment in the past that was completely successful.
"They are expected to be gone for four months while having surgery and physio.
"Inaya will be celebrating her seventh birthday in Hawaii next month."
Meanwhile, parents needing help for their children to be examined by visiting doctors from the hospital can meet them later next month.
Mr Leacock said doctors from the Shriners Hospital for Children will be in Fiji to hold clinics to see other children - aged 18 and below - who need help with orthopedic problems such as birth defects, sports injuries, cerebral palsy, bone fractures and bone infections.
The dates of the clinics are - Lautoka: March 11, 12 and 13, Labasa: March 17 and Suva: March 18, 19 and 20
The children must be accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian.w