Tom, The Strong Seven-Year-Old
One day, Tom was walking to school when he was hit by a lorry. He was rushed to a local hospital, where his right leg was amputated at the knee as well as his entire left arm. His left leg and pelvis were fractured as well, and he sustained a head injury.
A few months had passed, and due to how malnourished Tom was, many doctors thought he would not make it. Luckily, a doctor who works at CURE Malawi was visiting the hospital where Tom was, and decided that someone needed to take care of him.
Tom arrived at CURE Malawi so frail and he extremely malnourished. His ribs were sticking out of his chest. The public hospitals in Malawi do not feed their patients, so Tom’ was living off any food his grandmother could bring into the hospital.
His grandmother explained to us that the previous doctors had not communicated to either of them about what would happen next, and Tom received no continuity of nurses or doctors.
It was clear that Tom was in desperate need of some attention and quality care. He was immobile and constantly crying. His pain was just so raw that you wanted to cry with him.
Due to Tom’s current state, going ahead with the operation would have been very dangerous; all he needed was rest, food, and daily wound care. He was put on a high-protein diet and received dressings for his pelvis fracture.
This broken, seven year old lying in bed, his pitiful little body curled up and weeping.
A few weeks had passed and Tom was responding well. Slowly, Tom started to reveal his character; a great sense of humour and a huge smile.
CURE had given him the nutrients and healthcare he desperately need. In addition, a prosthetic had been arranged and custom made for his amputated leg, and he had gained enough strength that he was able to start walking his first steps.
Tom came to CURE Malawi in such a desperate state. A seven year old boy who had encountered such a great tragedy. He had almost nothing in life but his body and strength, and then he lost a great deal of that.
Without the medical care that he received at CURE Malawi we are not sure what would have happened to Tom. He may have had to spend the rest of his life in pain, and treated as an outcast in his community due to his disability.