I first met Irene and her mother when she was about one and a half years old. She was on the back of her mother when I first saw her. When I asked the mother what I could do for her she said she needed to find out what could be done for her daughter who had been born without a leg. I looked at her as the child on the back had two legs sticking out. At first I thought she was speaking of a child she had left at home but she explained to me that it was the baby on her back. After inviting her into the office she told me that she did not want people staring at her child so she had taken a leg from a doll and found a way to attach it to the child. She had done a great job as with a long stocking on now one knew the baby on her back was missing a leg.
Irene is now 8 years old, she and her mom have been to the OTC many times over the years as we provide her with an artificial leg. She is a smart girl and her mother values good education so she has worked hard for Irene and her little sister and brother to attend a good school. Recently we asked her to take Irene to a spinal specialist as her back had a bad curve. After examination she was informed that Irene needed surgery to correct the scoliosis. It is important that this is done, if not she will have a lot of problems later in life.
The cost of the surgery is 44,000 (forty-four thousand Ghana Cedis) which is at the moment €11,000 or $11,600. We are working with the hospital to see if they can give us some reduction but even with that for the average Ghanaian family the cost is prohibitive. We would like very much to help Irene’s mom as she tries to have fund raisers to get the money needed so the surgery can be done as soon as possible. I would like very much if we at OTC can also help this child get the surgical care she needs.