A pair of shoes can change a life

This post was written by Natalie Weakly, a mother from Texas who is sharing her inspiring clubfoot story with CURE. 

Our second daughter, Anna, was diagnosed with mild clubfoot in her left foot at birth, and we began treatment when she was 10 weeks old. The Ponseti method is effective, and we’re so grateful that Anna was able to receive this form of treatment. That being said, we were not excited about the prospect of putting Anna under full anesthesia for the Achilles tendon surgery, which most children with clubfoot need.

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Though the procedure is routine and the surgery itself quick, we prayed from the beginning that Anna would not need it, that God would supernaturally stretch her tendon and she wouldn’t need a tenotomy. The method is so standard and routine in the treatment of clubfoot that it felt a little strange to do so, but we stepped out in faith and began praying. In the process of praying, I opened my Bible for direction on how to pray for healing, and it opened to Jeremiah 51:15.

“He made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.”

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Stretched out?? Not fashioned, formed, flung up, tossed up, created, made, but stretched?? Jesus, please stretch Anna’s tendon like you stretched the heavens by understanding alone.

Anna’s foot corrected quickly, and after four weeks of casting we had a surgery date on the calendar. Through God’s perfect timing, the surgery was delayed because Anna was sick that week. While we waited out the three-week delay, the doctor began casting to stretch Anna’s tendon.

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The doctor had great success in getting Anna’s foot to move, but in one of our last appointments she indicated more manipulation of the foot would cause a rocker ball deformity. The next moments are crystal clear in my memory, and I have a hard time getting it down on the page with the same awesomeness with which they occurred. With a quiet, determined, and possibly a little surprised look on her face, she looks down at Anna and tries again. The next words she said make me cry even now as I relay this story for the umpteenth time: “I have her foot at neutral. We are going to go ahead and cast her in this position.” It’s as if God, in that moment, reached down and stretched her tendon. Praise Jesus.

After one more week of casting, we moved to the boots and bar with the understanding that at six months we would X-ray her foot to confirm proper growth/formation before surgery was officially off the table. X-ray day came, and Anna was a saint, looking so tiny on the X-ray bed, but smiling the whole way through. Five minutes later, we had the answer in black and white. Anna’s foot, tendon, and heel were completely healed!

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Anna is almost eight months old, and we’ve now moved to the maintenance mode of the boots and bar. Throughout this whole process, I’ve been overwhelmed with gratitude at the “what ifs.” What if Anna had been born 20 years ago? What if she had been born in a country that didn’t have the resources for this effective and life-changing corrective method of clubfoot? We would be telling an entirely different story.

Motivated by our own experience and new understanding of how easily this congenital issue could be corrected, I began researching non-profits that help with the more than 1 in 1,000 children born with clubfoot. I found CURE. I found an organization that not only works to heal physical issues but works with the families to share the love of Jesus, our ultimate healer. I’m new in the process of partnering with CURE, but their history of sharing the hope of Jesus while providing physical healing to these precious little ones is something I want to be a part of.

I’m an image consultant; I understand the importance of the right pair of shoes. But for Anna, and the thousands around the globe born with clubfoot, a pair of shoes can change a life.

Read the original blog post in its entirety at: A pair of shoes can change a life

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CURE's editorial team writes content for cure.org, such as news items, and also reviews and publishes articles written by guest authors.

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