When Luis Canelos was just 9 years old he accidentally fired a shotgun at his genitals, leaving him with just part of his right testicle.
Now, at the age of 17, the Peruvian boy and his father are traveling from their remote village to Miami, Florida for a complete phalloplasty operation.
The operation was made possible thanks to the IKF Wonderfund organization and it work to help raise the $50,000 needed to provide Luis this surgery.
Doctors say suicide rates among children like Luis are high and while genital reconstruction is obviously a physical improvement, it will also give him a chance at a normal life. If the surgery is successful, he could be a candidate for a penile implant to restore his sexual function which may one day give him the opportunity to father children.
Luis will be treated at the Holtz Children’s Hospital at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, which is one of the nation’s largest and most respected children’s hospitals.
Two teams of doctors will be involved in repairing and placing the teen’s genitals, which will be done with both skin from his forearm and a fibular bone from a cadaver.
Through a partnership with University of Miami and nearly $20 million in annual research and training funding, Holtz is one of the top pediatric clinical research centers in the United States and the largest in Florida. As a part of a public hospital dedicated to serving every person in need, it is also South Florida’s number one source of medical care for children without financial resources.