Clubfoot free: Natasha

Recently, our CURE Malawi Clubfoot Team travelled around to follow up with our patients to see how they are doing now that they are clubfoot free!

Baby Natasha and her parents outside their home.

“We are happy! We thought she would never be able to walk. It’s not what we expected, so we are glad. We know that without God there is nothing we can achieve in life. So we are trusting Him for what we need. Coming to CURE has encouraged our faith,” say parents Andrea and Mercy. Their baby Natasha was first brought for treatment at CURE’s clubfoot clinic in November 2016.

Natasha’s feet before and after Ponseti casting.

Natasha was only two weeks old when we first met her. Now, she’s over a year old! When she first came she had severe clubfoot on her left foot and ended up having five casts. Now, however, her feet are straight and she only needs to wear her special shoes with braces during the night.

Natasha’s older twin sisters (yellow dresses) and their friends pose outside while the clubfoot team discusses Natasha’s progress with their parents.

As well as being born with clubfoot, Natasha was also born with Down Syndrome and has been diagnosed with asthma, too.

Mercy puts on Natasha’s night braces for a photo. After serial casting corrects clubfoot, babies have a small local anaesthetic surgery and then need to wear a pair of braces to keep the condition from reoccurring.

Although, Natasha’s clubfoot treatment has come along nicely, at least 80% of children born with clubfoot go without proper treatment.

In this society, there’s not a lot of support for children or adults with disabilities. There’s also a lot of stigma and misunderstanding.

Chimwemwe, our Clubfoot Counselling Coordinator, holds Natasha while she speaks to Andrea and Mercy inside.

Along with the Ponseti method which treats the clubfoot physically, CURE also hires and trains local counsellors to work with patients and their families. Our counsellors bring emotional and spiritual healing, and tell families that their child is not cursed (a common belief) and that the disability is not a result of anything they did.

Often this is the first time, the child and their family has met someone who accepts them just as they are, and see them with nothing but love.

Chimewemwe laughs at a joke with Natasha’s parents as they leave.

Photo of the alice

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