John's Procedure on
Imagine fields of maize set on the side of hills, some big, others gentle inclines. A river runs nearby, allowing people access to water for washing their clothes and other things. Birds sing their praises of the sun when it comes from behind the c… Read more
Imagine fields of maize set on the side of hills, some big, others gentle inclines. A river runs nearby, allowing people access to water for washing their clothes and other things. Birds sing their praises of the sun when it comes from behind the clouds. Roosters crow, and chickens wander where they please. Children from the neighborhood gather to play together. This is John’s world, the one where he lives with his parents and two siblings.
But there’s another part of John’s world. The one where his walking looks different than those other neighbor kids. The one where his dad has to take him on a motorbike to school because it’s an hour away on foot and he can't walk that far like all of his classmates. The one where simply trying to balance while standing is a difficult task.
This is the world that CURE has come to change.
John was born with clubfoot. At two weeks old, he started ponseti casting which is often very effective and makes big surgery unnecessary. But sometimes, ponseti is not enough. Some of the details of John’s ponseti journey are unclear. Usually, after casting, an outpatient surgery called a tenotomy, and consistent brace wearing, all is well. But in John’s case, maybe the braces got forgotten for too long or maybe his feet were just too stubborn. So here we are, getting ready to have John come to CURE Kenya for surgery on his left foot.
In spite of this fact and all of the complications in John’s world brought by clubfoot, this doesn’t stop him from having a good time. “He likes to make jokes,” his mom told us. “He can say something funny.” John plays with his friends, makes his own footballs out of plastic bags, and clearly has a sense of humor.
We’re hoping that this week in the hospital, we’ll see more of John’s silly side. And even more than this, we’re hoping that John leaves the hospital with a forever cured foot that allows his world to look forever different and better. Can you pray with us in this?
Today we requested John to run. And he ran. And ran. And ran! Maybe it was seeing the results of that running on our camera that kept him running, but regardless, we LOVE it! We asked his mom about playing in the river. “You can’t stop him!” she told us. But this time, there’s no cast to risk getting wet, so he can play more freely! These days though, John is in school, so there’s less time for river play. The doctor says he’s doing good, and we’ll see him in a few months at clinic!
John came today to collect an AFO for his right leg. It was nice to catch up with him and his dad. John’s healing process is going on well and now he needs to wear the AFOs as part of the process. Please thank God with us for all the progress John is experiencing!
Our friend John came to get his right leg AFO measurements taken and will wear a cast until his AFO is ready. John’s dad asked if we got home safe the last time we went to visit their home. We told him yes then we had a short chat about the visit and what it meant to his family. We are grateful to be able to be an encouragement. Please continue praying that John will go through his correction completely.
Life is grand. John can practically blow you away as he walks past you on his crutches - he’s that fast! He had some visitors to his house again recently -- including a cool guy who works for CURE Kenya and was one of CURE’s first spine patients. His name is Livingstone and he’s fun! He spent time with John and friends and they got to sing songs together. We’re thankful for how our staff relates to kiddos and can bring smiles to their faces. We’ll see John next week when he’ll get his well-played with cast removed!
John went to theatre this morning for a cast change. We are thankful because John is okay, his smile is back, and he is in less pain than last week when he had just had his procedure! Please pray for journey mercies as they travel home. We hope to see John and his mum soon when they come back to CURE Kenya for review.
When John left the OR yesterday he was so sad because he was in so much pain. His mum asked the nurses to sort John out with some painkillers but thankfully they knew what the problem was and they addressed it. His cast was too tight so it put pressure on his wound which caused him too much pain. The nurses called a plaster technician who helped split the cast relieving the pressure and taking away his pain. We thank God for an awesome team that is ready to help out kids every day!
John came back to CURE Kenya for his second procedure! He was admitted yesterday and we spoke a little about whether he was worried about going back to the OR. He told us very confidently that he was ready to go into theatre hopefully one last time and get the last surgery finished. One of our doctors doing the surgery shared with us some of the details of the procedure and told us that it went really well. We also spoke to John's mum as she was waiting for her son to come back from theatre. John is very curious and we joked about how he is going to be very rich because by the time he is an adult, he will have gained so much knowledge. Friends, please pray for a smooth recovery and that John’s pain will subside soon!
As John waited to have his cast changed, his dad was talking to one of our pastors and John had just had a snack. He and his cast walked over and sat by Storyteller Elvis as he was hanging out with another patient. Elvis teased John about his snack, so John went back to where he was seated and then brought it over to either show or share. John’s cute and sometimes he surprises you with his smile or his sweetness. He’s also super playful because he’d already broken his cast after only one week. Remember the cast from a few weeks ago that seemed to have gone into the river? John loves life and thinks it’s meant for play. We agree. Thank God with us that after surgery in a couple weeks and then a couple more six-week-casts, John should be free to fully play once again!
We have fun news! John doesn’t have to wait for as long as we thought to have his next surgery! He’ll come for admission on October 24 and have his next surgery. In the meantime, he’ll come weekly for casting. Let’s see if the coloring he did today with a very special visitor from Garden Spot Village will help stave off his other play craving - going into the river! We’ll see him again next week and find out!
“John went in the river,” plaster tech Henry said today. John’s cast was super dirty and had gotten wet which made removal really challenging! John’s mom explained that John wanted to be like his friends, so that’s why the river incident happened. Thankfully, his cast came off and he still got fitted for his orthotic and got to take it home with him. He’ll need another surgery to correct his other foot, but in the meantime, he’ll wear casts to help in the process of correcting that foot. He’ll wait a couple weeks to have the first cast applied so he can get used to walking now that he’s temporarily cast free with a new orthotic! Please pray that the river isn’t TOO tempting once he’s wearing a cast again.
John is precious. Today he was looking at photos on our camera and then he just took it from us like it was no big deal. We went along with it and put the camera strap around his neck. He also handed us his wooden queue number that all our patients get when they arrive in to our OPD and proceeded to continue doing his thing with our camera. Maybe he’s aspiring to be the future ‘us’ and wanted to start developing his camera skills early! Medically, he had his cast removed and he got himself measured for his orthotic today. We’ll catch him next in six weeks to pick up his orthotic!
Moms are fun and John’s is no exception! John was proving this point this morning as he sat close to his mama, playing with her zipper and showing how much he loves her. She’s a good mama who shows her love for her son through her years of pursuing medical treatment for him. John tried his hand at walking today, first with crutches and then a walker. The crutches were just a bit too difficult for him, so a walker was a good alternative. He just has one more day in the hospital and then tomorrow he’ll get to go home!
“Piga picha!” John called out to us -- words we hear sometimes from kiddos who want their picture taken. We took his photos and then later went back to take more photos, and John was ready with smiles! John still has to stick around and elevate his cast more, but we’re hoping maybe tomorrow he’ll be free to go back to home to his neighborhood friends. Please pray that this is the case!
Remember Joel from Sunday? “John’s my friend,” he told us this morning. John and Joel played with a balloon and then after a bit, Joel told us, “Wait a minute -- I’m going to scare him!” Can you see that look on John’s face mid-scare? After that look came a gentle John smile. John has a smile that as it comes, it grows. It starts smaller and gets bigger and maybe even bigger. Thank Jesus with us that John is feeling good enough to play a bit and share his smiles with us!
The fact that God uses hands to heal feet isn’t lost on us! We’re really thankful for the hands of Dr. Mang’oli and Dr. Eva because theirs are the hands God used to heal John’s foot today. He had his clubfoot surgery today, and now we get to pray that God keeps them healed for the rest of John’s life. Thanks for praying with us!
“Laugh!” we told one of John’s bed neighbors, Faith, and that’s what she did while John enjoyed the moment. There are lots of balloons and friends in the ward, so today is a great day to be John! As he waits for tomorrow’s surgery, please pray there aren’t any nerves for him or his mama, only enjoyment.
People are fun. As we went to take a photo of John and his neighbor friends, we were photobombed by Joel who’s visiting from CURE Niger. There’s something about him that makes kids smile and giggle. John is a shy smiler, but if anyone can make him smile, it’s Joel! We know these two will be best of friends this week during John’s time at the hospital.
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