Guatemalan Boy Set To Go Home After Operation - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

09/01/06-Gilmer

Guatemalan Boy Set To Go Home After Operation

KLTV 7 News has an update on a story it first brought to you in March. A little boy from Guatemala, who came to East Texas for an operation, will soon go home to be with his mother and six other siblings. A non-profit, East Texas-based organization brought Milton Caal, 8, and his father to Gilmer for a life-changing surgery on his leg.

"Well, he's changed a lot.  He talks.  He's started talking to people. Before he didn't talk," said Elfego Caal, 40, Milton's father.

When we first met Milton, he could not walk on his own. His right leg was six inches shorter than his left one. Milton was so shy, he would not talk to anyone but his father. But now that's all changed. "He talks and he plays and he doesn't seem as bashful. He doesn't seem as concerned with people looking at his leg," said Refuge International Administrative Assistant Sarah Henson.

In 2000, Milton broke the femur, the big bone, on his right leg. It became infected and doctors in Guatemala removed part of it. Milton's only way to get around was with a pair of crutches.

In January of this year, an organization called Refuge International brought Milton and his father to East Texas. Refuge International arranged for doctors at Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas to perform an operation never done before.

Milton has gone through months of therapy to learn to walk with a special brace that goes into his shoe. "People have supported, they have helped me a lot. Truthfully, I don't have a way to pay them, but I know that God will keep blessing the people for the help they've given me," said Elfego.

Milton and his father say they are grateful to the people of East Texas for changing their lives. "Thanks very much to all the people," said Milton. Milton still has to use crutches to walk long distances, but soon he will not need them at all.

Milton says he looks forward to going to school, something he has not done because he was too embarrassed because of his condition. Refuge International has arranged for people in Belize to help him continue his recovery. They will help with his prosthetic as his foot grows bigger.    

Refuge International says it's looking for volunteers and monetary donations are always needed.

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com

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