JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Christian Examiner) -- While some kids are waiting to see what Santa brings for Christmas, children with a cleft palate, clubfoot, or bowed legs and other congenital abnormalities in the Philippines are blessed this Christmas with the opening of the Tebow CURE Hospital in Davao City.
Tim Tebow opened the doors of the 5-story, 30-bed hospital last week through his non-profit Tim Tebow Foundation.
The former NFL-star and Heisman Trophy winner, now an ESPN college football analyst who played for University of Florida, announced the facility, built in partnership with CURE International, received its official operating license and is already caring for children with critical orthopedic needs who are otherwise unable to afford treatment.
"It is so exciting to be able to provide healing and care for these incredibly deserving children halfway around the world," said Tebow. The official grand opening will take place in the spring of 2015.
Ruby Anne is the hospital's first patient, according to an article on CURE's website, a 15-year-old who underwent surgery on her Achilles tendon.
Prior to surgery, "Ruby Anne has grown up with limited mobility, and it has been painful for her to walk," the article reports. "But all of that is changing thanks to surgery at the Tebow CURE Hospital! Ruby Anne is recovering well, and we are looking forward to seeing her up and around soon."
Another news report says "Timmy's playroom" is on the top floor of the facility, which already has a waiting list of 90, and is served by 54 staff members.
The rest of the facility is described as a lower ground floor with an operating suite and facilities to sterilize equipment; and the upper ground floor with a reception area, pharmacy, administrative offices, kitchen, and cafeteria. The second floor contains a ward for patients (charity and private or semi-private rooms) with the third floor to be used for additional beds from an initial 17 up to 30. The fourth floor will be for the private clinics, an outpatient area, laboratory, radiology room, and physical therapy. The fifth floor will have a charity clinic, a social worker's office, a spiritual ministry, and a multipurpose hall.
"I was born in the Philippines while my parents served as missionaries, and I have always had a great love and passion for the Filipino people," Tim Tebow, said in a news release.
Tebow is the son of missionaries, Bob and Pam Tebow, members of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville. His dad, Bob, heads the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association (BTEA) and Tim Tebow spent time on mission trips preaching the Gospel when he was growing up.
The hospital is in the same region, Mindanao, where Tim once spoke to a group of 10,000 students during a summer missions trip when he was 15, his mom, Pam Tebow, told a news reporter in 2009.
"I think being able to articulate the Gospel clearly and his ability to speak in front of people and to people was really a by-product of those summer mission trips," she said in the article.
Tim Tebow's college spring break trip to the Philippines in 2008 received widespread media coverage when he was joined by pre-med students from University of Florida. During that trip he was photographed helping in the clinic when he wasn't preaching. He is well known for his compassion and empathy towards ailing children.
Dale Brantner, president and CEO of CURE International, said in the news release: "The opening of the Tebow Cure Hospital is the fulfillment of long-held dreams and many prayers. We are excited to partner with the Tim Tebow Foundation to bring healing to the children of the Philippines in Jesus' name."