The earliest day of The Clinic was established to treat patients with special needs from a school in Nogales, Sonora. I was invited to join Amanda Ast, Gloria Bogulas, and Lois Acton to consult on three children. Our office was the Nun’s bedroom at a Nogales orphanage. Three single beds were our examining tables over which we climbed to get to the second and third bed. We returned a month later and started to schedule some treatment which required additional volunteers. Mary Lou Frankel set up our record system. Dan Leal was our prosthetist, and Phil Tygiel managed physical therapy.
The initial cases were simple. We supplied a pair of long leg braces on an intelligent thirteen-year-old who had never walked. We did a heel cord release on a child with cerebral palsy who was a toe walker. Our results were immediate “miracles.” Our success was assured. Trust was established.
The Clinic grew rapidly, and we outgrew the orphanage. We had Patricia Martinez who managed the army of volunteers. Francisco Valencia (age14) was a reliable translator and later as an orthopedic specialist became our medical director.
St. Andrews Episcopal Church allowed us to expand to include all of the support specialties. The support from the Shriners hospitals allowed the complexity and volume of the surgical cases which we now are able to do.
I am thankful to the Board of Directors, Patricia Martinez, and all the volunteers for making the early vision develop into what we all share today.