Henroy’s Story (Updated 2/6/18)

Update (2/6/18):

We are so thrilled to hear that Henroy has successfully finished his five-month clubfoot treatment. He was discharged last month, thrilled to walk into his home for the first time, on his own and in regular shoes. A whole new world of possibilities is now open to Henroy after getting his feet fixed. He has expressed his desire to be the first in his family to be educated past elementary school. Thanks to MiracleFeet’s comprehensive model of treatment that sometimes addresses related needs with a patient’s family and community, Henroy will enroll in school next month with help from a scholarship funded by MiracleFeet and FACORC.

 


In early June 2017, Chesca Colloredo-Mansfeld (MiracleFeet’s Executive Director) and Jen Everhart (our Deputy Programs Director) traveled to rural Liberia, where they had the honor and pleasure of showing our work to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof (read the article he wrote about his experience here). After an intense couple of days of home and clinic visits, the group was getting ready to make the return trip back to the United States. As they were saying their goodbyes, a victim of untreated clubfoot appeared. Henroy, a shy 9-year old boy, had been brought down from a nearby village when neighbors heard we were interested in clubfoot (or “turtle foot” as it is called in the local vernacular). Head hanging, he struggled to walk on his twisted feet while other kids gathered around snickering.

~Watch video of Henroy’s first encounter with the MiracleFeet team~

The team at Liberia Clubfoot Program vowed to return to Henroy’s home to enroll him into treatment at FACORC clinic to fix his feet. On July 19th, they kept their promise and traveled the long, muddy road to Henroy’s home in remote Grand Bassa County.

Henroy lives in a mud and straw hut with his mother, Mary, and ten siblings. His father passed away many years ago. Because of his untreated clubfoot, Henroy doesn’t associate much with the other children in his family or his village. He cannot attend school due to his inability to walk long distances. His mother wants him, as the oldest boy, to be the “head child” of the family, an expectation that Henroy has been largely unable to meet.

After some convincing, Henroy’s mother agrees to let him be taken to the clinic for treatment. He has never been away from home and is quite nervous. With his sister, his uncle, and the clinic staff, Henroy navigates the log bridge spanning a creek that separates his family’s home from the road. After several hours, he arrives at FACORC to begin his treatment. He will be a resident at the transit home until his treatment is complete.

Watch video of Henroy’s journey to the clubfoot clinic ~

The next day, Henroy is receiving his first cast. He spends five months in treatment, receiving visits from his uncle and sister along the way.

~ Watch video of Henroy’s first cast ~

Henroy was discharged from the clinic and went home to a new world of possibilities now open to him after getting his feet fixed. He was thrilled to walk home for the first time, on his own and in regular shoes. He has expressed his desire to be the first in his family to be educated past elementary school. Thanks to MiracleFeet’s comprehensive model of treatment that sometimes addresses related needs with a patient’s family and community, Henroy will enroll in school next month with help from a scholarship funded by MiracleFeet and FACORC.