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Surgery in Utah helps teen, 14, from Suriname

Surgery in Utah

helps teen, 14,

from Suriname

When Rex and Maurine Hamilton of Providence, Utah, were called on a mission to Suriname in South America, they met a family of seven who had been attending Church but had not been baptized.

The family's oldest daughter, 14, was shy and quiet and had a severe curvature of the spine. Living in a country where medical help is limited, the family could do nothing to help.

So when the Hamiltons returned to Utah last February, the young woman came with them. Here, doctors learned she also had a heart problem — which was corrected. The curvature of the spine was so severe that doctors didn't know if they could completely straighten it — however they did.

The spinal deformity had interfered with the function of one of the young woman's lungs. As a result of the medical treatment she received in Salt Lake City, she began breathing better.

Brother and Sister Hamilton said she changed completely after the surgery. She became a bubbly teenager who teased and loved to be teased, they said.

Today, she stands two inches taller, her shoulders are even and she is free of the pain she suffered all of her life.

When she returned home to Suriname, her family sent word that they could not believe the change — they were thrilled. A few days later, she and her family were baptized into the Church.

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