Desalgne's Procedure on
When he was six years old, Desalgne's life changed and not in a good way. He was involved in a bad car accident which mangled his foot and, as the car caught on fire, resulted in bad burns up and down his leg. In the yeas since then, he has had to … Read more
When he was six years old, Desalgne's life changed and not in a good way. He was involved in a bad car accident which mangled his foot and, as the car caught on fire, resulted in bad burns up and down his leg. In the yeas since then, he has had to live being constantly reminded of that day. Desalgne's foot is painfully deformed and makes walking a challenge and moving quickly essentially impossible. Being the strong young man he is, Desalgne has done his best to carve out a life for himself, but it is hard with constant gossip and discrimination from those around him. Thankfully, Desalgne got connected with a partner organization of ours here at CURE Ethiopia which, in turn, connected him to us. Desalgne has now arrived here at our hospital where he will get the surgery he needs to straighten his foot, getting back on his feet and on with his life!
Now that Desalegn is in the clear with his toes, it's time to go back to Cheshire Homes (our partner who helps us lodge long term patients) where he will be staying for the coming couple of weeks. While he is in there, he will continue his practice moving his toes. But before leaving, he got another healing cast on to help him keep his foot progressing. We will see him again when he returns for his check-up!
While staying in the ward our patients are cared for dearly by all of the nurses. One of the ways is the twice daily vital sign and temperature checks. In between checks, Desalegn is still working on wiggling his toes and increasing movement. Please keep on praying for him while he continues his healing!
Good news! Desalegn made some progress with his toes today! He's been given some exercises to do which will allow him to get better control of them after having them in the frame for so long. Progress is slow but happening!
We found Desalegn hanging out on his wheelchair enjoying being frame free! He was originally slated to be leaving the hospital today, but he was having some lack of feeling in his toes so the doctors want to keep him here a little longer. He had his new cast split open to allow his leg a little more room which in turn will allow more bloodflow and restore full feeling to his toes. Our nurses are keeping an eye on him and we're praying this is solved and he's able to head out soon!
And just like that, Desalegn's frame is gone! He's still a little groggy from the anesthesia meds, but he's happy none the less. Before he went in for his frame removal, he asked us to take a photo of the frame because he says none of his friends from his home will believe it without a photo. He'll have his cast on for a few weeks, but we're getting so close to being done!
"I'm so happy the frame is coming off today"! Desalegn told us. He is back here at CURE Ethiopia to finally get his frame taken off! He is one step closer to finishing his treatment. Please keep this young man in your prayers for a successful removal and recovery!
Big news! Desalegn is leaving us for a bit! We're sad about it, but happy for him. His frame turns are done, but he still needs to have his cage on for a little longer so he's going to stay with one of our partners who works with children with disabilities and who helps lodge our patients in between their treatment. He'll be back in a couple of weeks and we're praying he'll have progressed enough to finally get this cage off! Please join us in these prayers.
Desalegn had a hair cut today and his barber was Temesgen from our counseling staff. Temesgen wears a robe and gloves while cutting hair not only because of the pandemic, but also because he caught lice when he was cutting another patient's hair a few months ago and we don't want a repeat of that!
Michael is one of Desalegn's best friend and his bed neighbor in the ward. Michael has to be in bed most of the time so Desalegn just kind of hangs out next to him, chatting and helping with anything he needs. The relationships and community that form in the ward are some of our favorite things about CURE Ethiopia.
Desalegn got a lot of get well messages from you all and today Chaltu, one of our counselor read them to him. "I'm happy to hear that a lot of people love me and they are thinking about me". Deaslegn told us after hearing all the messages. Desalegn is doing well and slowly chugging along towards the finish line!
Every Monday morning, all five of our CURE Ethiopia orthopedic surgeons get together and check on all their patients as a group. It gives them a chance to consult each other, share ideas, and make sure our patients get the best care possible. So even though Dr. Rick here isn't Desalegn's doctor, he's intimately involved in Desalegn's healing process ... no matter how indifferent or bored Desalegn looks!
Today we found Desalegn doing his own frame cleaning (under supervision)! He handled it like a champ! He told us, everyday in the morning after his frame turning he cleans his own frame and then wheels around the ward with his friend and neighbor Michael. Desalegn is doing well and finding ways to exert his independence during a time when a lot of us would just sit back and give in to so much being out of our control. We love his spirit!
Desalegn is doing well and chugging along with his frame turning schedule. He says it doesn't hurt at all and he just chats with Bayu as the frame is adjusted and cleaned twice a day! Please keep him in your prayers that he's able to keep up this great attitude!
"We didn't do anything special. We just spent most of the weekend in our beds chatting" Desalegn explained about the past few days. When Desalegn says "we," he is talking about his friends and ward neighbors. Many of them were brought to CURE Ethiopia by the same partner organization so they've all known each other for a while now and these relationships are what helps get them through this time!
One of the cool things about CURE Ethiopia is that we're working to be a resource to the Ethiopian healthcare system. We regularly have medical students, residents, and fellows from various Ethiopian medical schools work in our hospital for weeks or months in order to better understand pediatric (kids) orthopedic (bones) care. Here one of our staff members is explaining Desalgne's frame to one of these future doctors.
Desalgne ended up getting his hands on a wheelchair and is spending his day cruising around the ward, meeting all the other kids. For so many of the kids that get treated here at CURE Ethiopia, they are essentially outcasts in their communities, set apart by their disability. One of the things we love in our ward is that these kids find other kids who are going through the exact same thing as them. Friendships built on a deep understanding of what the other person has gone through are special special friendships!
The frame turning process is a long one, but most great things take time. In between frame turns, Desalgne is hanging out in the ward with a solid group of friends that has formed in their section. They've also been practicing proper hand washing techniques in case the corona situation in Ethiopia develops, but it's also just a good thing to be good at anyway!
Dr. Tim checked Desalgne's frame this morning before Desalgne got his first frame adjustments! Each adjustment helps "bend" Desalgne's foot a little closer to straight. Desalgne was a little nervous before the adjustments, but when we checked in with him after, he said there was only a little pain. As Dr. Tim said during the check up, "He's a tough one."
Today we caught Desalgne as he ate his breakfast of peanut butter, bread, and tea. He wasn't at all self conscious until we pointed out he had managed to get peanut butter ALL OVER the lower half of his face! Desalgne's cage adjustments will begin on Monday and he's a little nervous about them so please keep him in your prayers this weekend.
Desalgne is up and about. If you check out the little gap in his bandage near his toes, you can see some of the pins that are going from his frame into his toes. These pins continue up his foot and onto the lower part of his shin. He says he has a little pain, but nothing he can't handle!
This young man's surgery was a success! Desalgne had a "cage" installed on the lower portion of his leg and foot. This cage has little pins that are anchored to his bones. These pins come out of his leg/foot and then connect to the frame of the cage. The idea is that over the next few weeks and months, our medical staff will slowly adjust the position of the cage's frame, which then moves the pins and the bones they are connected to. Over time, this will slowly straighten out Desalgne's foot. It's not the fastest process, but one that has proven to get good results!
Desalgne was originally scheduled to go into surgery last week, but because of some other surgeries which took longer than anticipated, his surgery got delayed. But today is the day! The doctors visited him during rounds this morning and discussed his case so everyone is on the same page. Desalgne will be heading into surgery later today so please keep him in your prayers for strength!
Desalgne is here getting settled at CURE Ethiopia. He's the oldest one in the beds immediately surrounding him so he's the cool kid in his corner which he seems to relish, but he's not above having some fun. Please keep him in your prayers as he gets ready for surgery!
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