After her clubfoot was surgically corrected, Lucy gained the confidence to interact with people and pursue her dreams.
Today, if you met 22-year-old Lucy from Kenya, you might not believe that she grew up with a physical disability that left her isolated and stigmatized for 15 years of her young life. Instead, you would see a vibrant, confident young woman with an infectious smile and steady steps. Lucy was one of about 1,500 Kenyans born with clubfoot every year. It’s a correctable condition, but in cultures that believe birth disorders are caused by evil spirits, many children with clubfoot and other congenital conditions are left untreated. Children suffering from disabilities are therefore widely rejected and disadvantaged while their medical conditions worsen.
“I believe in God, and I pray He will heal me.”
Lucy says she, too, grew up believing that her physical disability could not be treated, so she learned to adapt to the odd shape of her feet and tried not to let her feet limit her. But Lucy was unhappy. “Life was hard as a teenager. People excluded me because of my disability,” she says.
But life as Lucy knew it began to change. It started when Lucy went to a local clinic because the pain in her feet had been worsening. She learned that clubfoot could be treated, and that CURE Kenya was the place to go for such treatment.
Each year, CURE Kenya performs an average of 1,795 life-changing reconstructive and orthopaedic surgical procedures for children suffering from treatable disabilities. On average, 330 surgical procedures are for clubfoot treatment.
After the necessary preparations, on July 4, 2016, Lucy made the three-hour trip from her hometown to CURE Kenya in Kijabe for surgery on her right foot. Nine months later, CURE surgically corrected her left foot.
For any significant corrective surgery, the body takes time to heal, with frequent follow-up appointments to carefully oversee this process. “I believe in God, and I pray He will heal me,” said Lucy during treatment.
One very important activity that Lucy missed during her recovery was going to church. “With a cast, Lucy can’t walk to church; it’s quite a distance from home,” explained her mom, Mary, adding, “I know when she is healed, she will sing in church and praise God.” Despite the challenges that Lucy faced, she showed courage, resilience, and gratitude. Her cheerful spirit even brought encouragement to the staff and other patients.
Fast-forward to 2022. Lucy is a happy wife, budding businessperson, and mother of three beautiful children — Elvis, Joseph, and Princess. She says her self-esteem and confidence soared through the roof after the surgeries.
“Before I was treated, I was really shy and I didn’t really want to interact with anyone,” she shares. “Now, I am comfortable speaking to people and interacting with them because their attention is no longer on my feet.”
Lucy says that she is grateful to be able to enjoy the things that most people experience, like having a family, getting invited to important events, and finally — wearing shoes.
“Starting a family was a big dream for me,” she shares. “I didn’t think I’d ever have a family of my own!”
Her husband, John, who is a barber, says he is proud of how Lucy takes care of their children and at the same time helps support the family by selling sausages in their neighbourhood.
“I remember my father told me to never regret choosing Lucy. I think he saw something in her!” says John.
Lucy is also grateful that her mother, who was her constant companion and support throughout her healing journey, is finally relieved of “a whole lot of stress.”
In 2020, Lucy met Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and other officials at CURE Kenya on International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Lucy was invited to the gathering as one among many patients who underwent successful surgeries and experienced life-transforming outcomes. Upon seeing Lucy standing next to her before-and-after pictures, the Deputy President couldn’t believe his eyes and kept asking Lucy if she indeed was the young girl in the pictures (see above).
“I consider being able to meet the Deputy President a milestone, and it is thanks to CURE,” exclaims Lucy.
Six years ago, Lucy came to CURE Kenya with untreated clubfoot, a downcast spirit, and seemingly impossible dreams. Today, Lucy, along with thousands of others, is evidence of the gift of physical healing in the hands of very capable, God-fearing CURE surgeons and the blessing of spiritual transformation through the ministry of God’s Word. Your support makes a life-transforming change like Lucy’s possible every day.
[This article was originally posted to the https://cure.org website on 10th August 2022]