Worth the Wait: An Ecuador Clubfoot Story

Ecuador natives Paty and Erik L. are no strangers to adversity. Their daughter Sarah (Sarita) was born with not only Syndromic clubfoot, but also spina bifida, another birth defect in which there is incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. At age two, Sarah underwent major surgery in order to try to correct the position of her feet.

Yet at age ten, it appeared that she would need another major operation. Paty and Erik were reluctant to make their daughter go through surgery again, but at the same time they didn’t know if there was any other option. They then decided to organize a talk for families who have children with the same condition as Sarah. That’s when the family learned about MiracleFeet.

In 2011, MiracleFeet began developing relationships with public health providers and orthopedic surgeons in Ecuador. Since then, support from the Ronald McDonald House Charities has helped our organization launch a program called the FundaciĆ³n Hermano Miguel. This program is designed to make clubfoot treatment more accessible to Ecuadorian children, as well as to provide coordination and fiscal sponsorship. Lorena Suarez, the program’s director of operations, was instrumental in helping the Paty and Erik acquire treatment for Sarah.

“Thanks to her we learned about the MiracleFeet program,” Paty said.

Upon hearing the possibility of Sarah receiving treatment without having to endure another surgery, the parents became more hopeful than they had been in a long time. They immediately requested an appointment with Dr. Gibran Mancheno to find out if their daughter was eligible for the procedure.

Paty said that the doctor was incredibly attentive to their daughter’s needs, and that Sarah felt comfortable with the treatment. Knowing that their daughter would not need surgery brought the family a huge amount of relief.

Today, Sarah’s feet are fully straight, and she has even expressed a desire to walk with the help of her crutches.

Paty and Erik would like to thank Lorena Suarez, Dr. Mancheno, and everyone at MiracleFeet for helping in their daughter’s recovery.