Mercy Ships has recently come out and revealed the life changing impact of their volunteer work on one young Cameroonian girl’s life after the charity helped her get surgery to correct her bow legs. The growth disorder she had suffered was so extreme that her feet were pointing 180 degrees in the wrong direction.
Despite the severity of her condition she still walked, skipped, played football and climbed trees, which just goes to show not much can stop a kid from being a kid! But, the young girl, known only as Justine, does have a whopping 2.4 mile, or 4km, walk to school every day. And her deformity made that walk agonising, and dreadfully slow.
As part of the corrective surgery doctors severed the bones, untwisted them, and then set them back in place with plaster casts. Over a 5-month period, her legs healed back into a more normal position. For the first time since her surgery she took her first unaided steps just last week. A remarkable recovery celebrated by Mercy Ships on their Facebook page.
“There's nothing I can't do now,” Justine said, smiling ear-to-ear with excitement.
A spokesperson for Mercy Ships talker about Justine’s recovery:
“Justine was the first patient up the gangway at the start of Mercy Ships field service in Cameroon.
“Her favourite hobbies are running, playing jump rope, playing football, hide and seek, climbing trees - all very physical, hands-on activities - she didn't let her severe limitations hold her back from them.
“But Justine had to have special transport arranged for her to be able to go to school, and on the days it fell through, she had to walk 4km to school and back by herself which took a very long time.
“Kids were often mean to her; would tease her and run because they knew she couldn't chase them.”
Justine is one of this world's courageous, inspirational girls. This is her remarkable story https://t.co/6JeomJYCXV— MERCY SHIPS NZ (@MERCYSHIPSNZ) 9 March 2018
The orthopaedic surgeon who corrected Justine’s condition had this to say:
“Justine had an extreme case of Blount’s disease with angular and rotational deformities of both legs rotating her feet 180 or essential backwards.
“To correct the deformity required us to do osteotomies or cut the bones in each leg and untwist her legs.
'She was held in long leg walking cast until the bones were healed. Once out of cast she worked with the rehab team prior to discharge.”