At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we believe in supporting our community in many ways and we encourage our staff to do so as well. Our spine surgeon, Dr Andrew Moulton, goes a step further and shares his skills globally to help children in developing countries. Our local newspaper recently interviewed him to learn more about his mission as co-founder of the Butterfly Foundation. Read about it here:
Dr. Andrew Moulton is a nationally recognized expert in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal disorders and a surgeon at Sarasota Orthopedics Associates. He is also the founder of the Butterfly Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children with complex spinal deformity in developing countries.
Since 2003, Dr. Moulton has performed dozens of living-saving surgeries, while promoting the advancement of spine deformity treatment technology by training local surgeons. We spoke to him recently about his philanthropic work. Visit www.SOA.md for more information.
What inspired you to start the Butterfly Foundation?
As an orthopedic resident, I visited Honduras on a pediatric mission in which many club foot surgeries were performed. The next trip, there were more patients than before. I looked at the demographics and realized that the procedures themselves were a drop in the bucket compared to the size of the problem, and then decided to focus on training local surgeons. “Teach a man to fish and he feeds his community for a lifetime” is our motto.
Where are some of the places the foundation serves?
We have ongoing efforts in the Dominican Republic, Malawi, Chile, Peru, Jamaica, Vietnam, China and Myanmar.
What kind of spinal injuries or illnesses have you treated?
We treat primarily pediatric deformities, including spinal injuries and severe, life-threatening cases of scoliosis.
Where did the name “Butterfly Foundation” come from?
Because of society’s attitudes toward their deformity, we saw how these kids would come in, bundled up, socially withdrawn, embarrassed, even outcast. Once they have their surgeries and heal, they stand up straight, they run, and they jump and play. There’s such a profound joy to see them move so freely, without pain. Their transformation reminded us of how a butterfly is born and the name stuck.
What was your most memorable case?
The most memorable case may have been one of the first very extensive ones. After a 15-hour surgery, with my hands bleeding from blisters acquired over the week of surgeries, I sat in a corner waiting over an hour for the patient to wake up to ensure she was not paralyzed from the surgery. She woke up in great shape. I slept well that night!
What inspires you to continue doing this work?
Doing this work takes me back to the basics of being a doctor — to why I wanted to become one in the first place. These people don’t have many chances in life. For me to give a little means a lot to them. When the people thank you, they really mean it. You’re the only chance they have.
How can our readers become involved with your foundation?
People are welcome to email inquiries to info@SOA.md.
SOURCE: Herald Tribune/Style Magazine/Sunday, August 6, 2017