Akua on August 19, 2009. She was fourteen month old
On August 19th, 2009 I was sitting at my desk when I saw a mother carry her child into the treatment room. The baby seemed so small that I followed her to see how old the child was and what was the problem. I was shocked to find out that she was 16 months old and very malnourished.
She had been born at home, had club feet, her fingers were not separated and she had one eye that was not too good. We immediately took her to one of the Catholic Hospitals about two hours away. After a week he came back to us and we kept the child and the mother and started to work with her.
Slowly she started to gain weight and we started the treatment on the club feet. She was sent to eye specialist who said nothing could be done, she has a chronic infection in her left eye. Recently we were able to have a plastic surgeon separate her fingers. Now the plan is in November to cast her feet again then have a small surgery to correct her feet a little more.
Akua has grown into a nice little girl and is attending school. We see her often and have helped her with school fees.
We thank God for this miracle and pray that she will be able to continue her education and be a good family member and citizen of Ghana.
Akua now almost 7 years old.
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.
Baby Kwaku was born on January 22, 2015 weighing only 2.2 kilos. Luckily he was born at a clinic that was familiar with our services, so on January 27 he was admitted with his mother to the OTC. Kwaku was born with club feet, four toes on the left foot and a left arm deformity. There is no clear hand, no bones and only imprints of fingers.
We started immediately to treat the club feet using the Ponsetti method. He has responded very well to the treatment and is now in Dennis Brown splints to immobilize his feet in the correct position. Eventually the small section without bones will be amputated and we have promised the mother that when he is three years old we will fit him with an artificial hand.
When we took him for weighing he was down to 1.7 kilos so we are now supplementing his mother’s breast milk with formula. You can already see the difference.
Kwaku is very lucky to have been given the treatment so early in life. His mother was willing to make the long journey to the OTC and to stay with him during the treatment. She is now very happy and is encouraged to see the great change in her child. She is a mother of 20 years and not married. In our small way we have been able to give her hope and let her see the beautiful son she has given life too.