Ishmael and Rahim's Procedure on
Ishmael and Rahim's Story
“When Ishmael (10) and Rahim (8) were little we used to take them to Domasi Mission Hospital to treat their clubfoot, but we stopped because my wife was deceived by people who said, ‘If you keep on taking them to hospital, they will end up cutt… Read more
“When Ishmael (10) and Rahim (8) were little we used to take them to Domasi Mission Hospital to treat their clubfoot, but we stopped because my wife was deceived by people who said, ‘If you keep on taking them to hospital, they will end up cutting their legs off!’ So she lied to me and told me that they had been discharged,” says Levison, Ishmael and Rahim's father.
Ishmael and Rahim's clubfoot has brought a lot of strain to their family. “When I found out that my wife lied to me, saying that the kids were discharged, we started arguing, which eventually led to our divorce. I left with my two deformed sons and moved to another area where I enrolled them to Matandani Primary School. They caught the attention of Andy, a European who is working at the school as teacher. He advised me to take them back to the hospital, so we have been going to Domasi Mission Hospital till early December when they referred us here," Levison continues.
The boys have received ponseti treatment at their local mission hospital, where casts are used to slowly manipulate the foot around straight, and now they have been referred to CURE to have the tight tendons in their feet released. Ponseti helps to loosen the foot up and means a lot less invasive surgery in the long run, and a better outcome.
Although Levison divorced his wife, he still has doubts. “Although I was brave enough to divorce my wife, I was still afraid that maybe she was right, and if I take them to hospital they really will cut their legs off, but Andy convinced me by taking me to Malawi Against Physical Disabilities (MAP) in Zomba where I saw many kids who had similar conditions to my sons walking around, so this encouraged me.”
Levison says the problem is an inherited disability from his wife’s family. “My sister in-law has a child who is also deformed, so they are used to it. That made it difficult for me to convince them to seek medical treatment. Whenever I took them to hospital they would mock us that now I can never get back with my wife. Even my sons are relieved that we separated, because they were unhappy kids, they were always a topic of contention around our house.”
Meanwhile Levison is also facing challenges with his neighbors. “It is really painful having deformed kids, my neighbors say they were bewitched because it can never happen for a family to produce two deformed kids. They advise me to go to the witch doctors to seek help, but I used to say to myself, ‘Let me try medical treatment first, if it fails then I will see the asing’anga.’”
Ishmael and Rahim need a couple more casts before they’re ready for surgery, so they’ve been admitted for a couple weeks of ponseti here at CURE and then they will have PMRs (posterior medial release). “My wish is to see my sons walking so that they can erase all the bad thoughts people have for deformed kids, and if they walk maybe my sister in-law will be convinced to take her child to hospital,” Levison concludes.
Please be praying for Ishmael, Rahim and Levison. They’ve have had a tough story and we’re hoping with God’s help we can bring healing into their lives both physically and spiritually!
Ishmael and Rahim are back! 500 miles has AFO supplies again so they're all set to get them sorted. Unfortunately, their sponsor Andy, the teacher who was paying for their travel expenses to get here, hasn't given them money for travel to Lilongwe yet, so we're waiting to hear from him before we book them, but it will be either next week or the week after. Please continue praying for them!
Ishmael and Rahim have come in and had their casts taken off! Those feet are looking a lot better than when they first arrived at our hospital in January! Unfortunately 500 Miles in Lilongwe, where we usually have our orthotics made, has run out of supplies. In the meantime, the physiotherapy team here has found a pair of old orthotics that more or less fit Ishmael, and a pair of strong boots for Rahim, that will keep their feet straight until 500 Miles gets more supplies. Please be praying that happens soon!
We went to visit Ishmael and Rahim, their dad Levison and new step mom in their village on Wednesday! A short term team from Woodmen Valley Chapel came out and since our Spiritual Team was planning a home visit to their house anyways, they came along to meet the kids and hear their story! The kids are doing great and will be coming next Tuesday to have their casts off and to go up to Lilongwe for ankle-foot-orthotics. We got to meet their sister, stepmother, and baby brother. Levison has decided to follow Christ after his experience at CURE and all he has heard, but he is the only Christian in his village, so you can pray for support for him and his family as he steps forward in faith!
Ishmael and Rahim are getting ready to go home! They've both been discharged by the doctors and we're sure they're quite excited to leave! We got a photo of them waving with their new friend Innocent! We'll see them again in clinic on March 20th. Please be praying for them as they travel home. Levison says, "I am so happy that after all the struggling with my wife to get these kids treated, we have finally come to CURE. I see so much hope at this hospital and am so thankful for the help. My boys will walk and go to school soon."
Rahim's operation yesterday went well! He had pretty much the same operation as Ishmael, with a tendon release and transfer. It was really cute watching his brother Ishmael and friend Yunusu comfort him in the recovery bed after his surgery! Now that they've all had surgery, they'll all be headed home soon and we're gonna miss them!
Rahim is ready for his operation! He was waiting for theater today and giving us a big smile! Ishmael in the meantime is chilling, watching tv. Please be praying for Rahim as he has his surgery today!
Brothers are the best! Ishmael and Rahim were enjoying teatime bread across the table from each other and both did the exact same pose by stuffing bread in their mouth as soon as they saw the camera go up!
Ishmael's operation went really well. Dr. Maina thought he would have to do more but in the end they just did a soft tissue release on the back of his foot and a tendon transfer to balance his foot so that the clubfoot hopefully won't reoccur. He'll be able to go home in a day or two, and we're so happy for him! Rahim is still in the casting stage but hopefully will be ready for his operation next week!
News update! Ishmael has gone in for his surgery today since his feet were more or less done with ponseti. His brother Rahim, however (pictured), still has some casting to go. Rahim seems pretty happy to not have to go into surgery yet, but his time will come! Please be praying for Ishmael as he has his operation!
Rahim was being quite the model while Goodson took his casts off this morning! We were so happy to see the boys back from the hostel when they came in to get a cast change. Ishmael was waiting with Robert to get his new set of plasters too!
Yunusu is another boy who Andy brought in to CURE for treatment from Zomba! He and Rahim were waiting while Rahim's big brother Ishmael had his casts put on on Tuesday. Please be praying for Rahim, who has a sore throat. The boys will have another set of casts on Friday!
Meet Ishmael and Rahim! They're ten and eight year old brothers and are here to receive ponseti treatment for a couple weeks, where the feet are gradually casted into position, and then they will have surgery to fix the tight tendons in their feet. We actually met them a couple months ago in clinic when Andy, a European teacher from their school, brought them in for treatment. They were referred back to their local hospital for a couple months of weekly casting and now they've been admitted for a couple more casts and then surgery! Please be praying for them and their dad Levison!
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