Clubfoot Mother Finds New Hope

November 10, 2016

Mary’s mother didn’t know how to react when the doctor diagnosed her newborn daughter with bilateral clubfoot. She had no knowledge of clubfoot treatment and no way of knowing if her daughter would ever be able to walk. Luckily, the doctor who diagnosed Mary did know about clubfoot treatment at the very hospital that she had been born in. Mary began treatment at the Mwamashimba hospital just a month after her birth, and her mother felt deeply relieved knowing that her daughter would be healed one day and able to walk and play with her older brother Eliud.

After a year and five months of below-knee casting in intervals of two weeks with little improvement, the doctor decided to refer Mary to the Bugando Medical Hospital for further treatment. Mary’s mother became disheartened once again. She and her husband were small-scale farmers and the idea of spending more money on treatment after seeing such little improvement over the last 17-months was risky.

Nevertheless, Mary’s parents hoped to see their daughter walk one day, so Mary’s mother decided to make the 2 hour trip to Bugando Hospital in November of 2014. During her first visit, she attended their clubfoot clinic and was amazed by what she saw. She met more children diagnosed with clubfoot that were each in different stages of treatment with a different method called the Ponseti technique. Seeing the progress in other children allowed her to begin hoping for her own daughter’s treatment in the future, but cost was still a major obstacle to overcome.

She soon discovered that the clubfoot treatment at Bugando Hospital was free thanks to the financial support the hospital receives from MiracleFeet. She happily told her husband the good news and they began picturing a new and brighter future for their daughter. They both agreed to make certain that Mary could attend all of her appointments. They would wake up at 5:00 a.m., walk 30 minutes to the bus stop, and then take an hour and a half bus ride to the city of Mwanza where the hospital is located.

After 8 castings at Bugando, the doctors performed tenotomy and then provided a brace for Mary to wear 3 weeks later. Today, at 3 years and nine months old, Mary has been in a brace for almost one and a half years, though now she only wears the brace at night. She hasn’t started school yet but she plays with her friends, draws, and even enjoys playing soccer and running.

Mary has been through a great deal in her young life, but now, thanks to her parents’ dedication and the free treatment she received at Bugando Hospital, she doesn’t have to worry about any part of her future being limited by clubfoot.