Children of Ruanda

Euphrasia, Age 3
Euphrasia, Age 3

Remember the two children who have birth defects in their legs and feet, Euphrasia and Leah. They have now been evaluated and are undergoing treatment. The occupational therapist at Loreto assessed Leah’s condition and emailed pictures to the surgeon in Italy who has now travel to Tanzania. If Leah’s feet can be corrected, surgery will be performed first on one foot this year and next year she’ll undergo surgery on the other foot.

Leah, Age 9
Leah, Age 9

Leah is 9 years old and a second grade student in Ruanda. Her father died a few years ago so her mother struggles to support her family. Leah is not a typical child. Her feet are severely twisted and she will need of corrective surgery in order to live a normal productive life. Leah was born with both feet twisted inwards and back. Leah is currently at Ikonda hospital awaiting her turn for surgery. The doctor is very busy as he is the only orthopedic surgeon there and it's a big hospital.

Euphrasia at Ikonda Hospital
Euphrasia at Ikonda Hospital

Euphrasia, 3, was born with her left foot twisted inwards and was not able to wear shoes. In fact, she wasn't able to plant her left foot flat on the ground when she walked.

Dr. Francesco, 80, a surgeon from Italy was at Ikonda Hospital for six weeks as a volunteer doctor. After examining Euphrasia he found that her knee is also twisted and decided to try to correct her foot and knee by casting her leg.

Euphrasia With Shoes
Euphrasia (on left) With Shoes

In March 2015 we traveled to St. John’s Hospital in Lugarawa to have Euphrasia’s cast removed. What an amazing outcome. Euphrasia is able, for the first time, to wear shoes. The once twisted foot is no more. Sometime in April Euphrasia will undergo surgery to elongate a tendon in her Achilles heel and then she will be done with her treatment. But she will have to wear special shoes for a long while.