Sibongile

From Malawi Send Message Follow
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  • Age15
  • Conditiona joint condition
  • Next Appointment 12/17/2018
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CURE in Malawi

The picture above is of CURE in Malawi. Everyone who serves with CURE in Malawi, from medical professionals to office staff, are dedicated to providing the highest quality medical and spiritual care to people who, without CURE, couldn't find it and couldn't afford it, just like Sibongile. To do that, we're inviting you to partner with us.

We need to raise approximately $1000 to treat children like Sibongile. When you give a gift through Sibongile's CUREkids profile, your contribution will help us continue our work in countries like Malawi. Have more questions? Ask us.

Monthly Giving: Be a Hero!

When you partner with us monthly, we'll send you an email each month to introduce you to a different child who was helped because of your generosity. You can choose to follow their updates and send them get well messages. That means that each year, you're a part of helping 12 different children, beginning with Sibongile. We call it being a CURE Hero!

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Sibongile's Story

“Sibongile’s disability is very strange to me. I tried to figure out what happened, but I don’t get answers. All I think is that it’s matsenga (magic), since she was born healthy and out of nowhere started complaining and it was so fast. It… Read more

“Sibongile’s disability is very strange to me. I tried to figure out what happened, but I don’t get answers. All I think is that it’s matsenga (magic), since she was born healthy and out of nowhere started complaining and it was so fast. It was in 2013 when something went wrong with her hip. We went to the garden in the morning to pick some vegetables to sell. I had my vegetables in a basket on my head. Sibongile had her own basket and her little sister Gladys also had a basket. Sibongile was walking very slowly, and when I asked her, she said her leg was in pain. When I asked her, ‘When did this pain start?’ She told me, ‘It started when we set off to the garden,’” says Selina, Sibongile’s mother.

“All this happened on a Friday and we went to the hospital on Monday. By then, her whole hip was swollen. At the hospital, they asked me some questions about what had happened to her. I said, ‘I don’t know how to answer because she was born very healthy.’ They gave me some medication to ease the pain and said, ‘If there’s no change, return to the hospital so we can refer you to another hospital.’ When we went home, the medication did not help so we just decided to go straight to the other hospital. At the other hospital, they gave me some medication as well and said, ‘If you don’t see any change, come back.’ There was a slight change; it wasn’t as swollen as before after taking the medication, but still she had pain. I returned to the hospital and they changed the medication to help ease the pain, however the hip was still painful. Since then they haven’t given me any medication again, but were just looking at the hip each time we went to see if there was a change. One day the CURE doctors came and gave me a date to come to CURE Malawi.”

“I came here to CURE Malawi in 2015 and they did a biopsy on her hip, but the results showed that she had nothing wrong. This made me feel very bad. It even increased my thoughts of it being magic. When we came the first time, we were told to go back home after the biopsy and wait 2 years, and were given a date to come back to clinic, and that’s where we were booked again. They said she needed to grow a bit before her operation. However, now that I’m back here, I believe that with God’s intervention, she will get better.”

Unfortunately, medical communication between English and Chichewa can be really hard, as often there aren’t medical terms in Chichewa. Obviously we didn’t manage to explain to Silvia very well what is wrong with Sibongile the first time, but hopefully now that our spiritual staff know the story, we can better communicate what’s going on to her! Part of the difficulty is that Sibongile’s condition is confusing even for health care workers! Most likely when the biopsy came back with “nothing wrong”, that just meant there was no tumors or arthritis discovered, which helped narrow down the options to what IS wrong.

Sibongile has a rare childhood condition called Perthes disease, where the blood flow to the ball of the femur is cut off, causing it to slowly die. Even doctors don’t understand why this condition happens, so it’s hard to blame Silvia for chalking it all up to “magic”! Depending on how severe the condition is, the femoral head can grow back once the blood supply returns, which is why the doctors were hesitant to operate on Sibongile as long as she wasn’t in too much pain to walk. However, now that it’s been several years without improvement, the best option to relive her pain is with a girdlestone operation, where the ball of the hip is removed completely, followed by a pelvic support osteotomy, which involves cutting the femur to create a “shelf” for the pelvis to rest on.

Sibongile says, “I don’t know what happened to make me like this, but my friends say it’s matsenga (magic). The problems I face because of this disability is that I’m not able to do what my friends can do, like play jingo. Some of my friends laugh at me because I can’t walk well. After surgery, my life will change very much, because as it is now, I think a lot about it. When I see my friends, I wonder if I will be able to walk like them again. I will want to be a doctor when I’m done with my education so that I can also help my friends.”

Please join us in praying for Sibongile and Silvia, and for our staff as they try to communicate Sibongile’s condition and the necessary operations to correct it!

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Latest Updates

Nov 14, 2018

Sibo came in for physio today! "I missed you!" she told us. "Home has been good, especially because at home I don't have to come to physio," Sibo laughed at herself. She says she really doesn't like physio, but has noticed she is getting better! We were so happy to see Sibo again and blessed to receive one of her big hugs! Thanks for your continued prayers for Sibongile's healing, she has come a long way and today was the first day she didn't cry during physiotherapy! Photo of Sibongile

Nov 08, 2018

Sibongile got her knee to bend to 90 degrees and is headed home! We tried to block the doors from her leaving because we are really going to miss her! She laughed, gave us a big hug and was on her way! We look forward to seeing Sibo again on December 17th. Please continue to keep Sibo in your prayers as she heals while she is at home! Photo of Sibongile

Nov 07, 2018

Sibongile is a champion! She has been playing her favorite game, Bao, with all the patients in the kid's ward. She has a seat set up next to her bed for anyone who thinks they can beat her to sit in and play against her. So far, she's won against three people and they just keep rotating out as she takes the W every time!

The doctors and physiotherapists have seen great progress in Sibo's leg flexibility. She is almost able to be her knee 90 degrees while sitting down. The physio team has been advised to get her to this point today and tomorrow if possible, so she can go home. Sibo is up for the challenge and is ready to take the W once again! Please keep this champ in your prayers, that she can get her knee to bend at a right angle so she can go home tomorrow! Photo of Sibongile

Oct 31, 2018

Sibo is recovering well from her surgery yesterday! We were shocked we could get a smile out of her even when she was in a lot of pain, but she says it was better than the last time! The doctors have given Sibo pain medication and will be reviewing her blood while she is resting before having to soon go back to physio. On a positive note, she is really enjoying her time off from physio! Thank you for all your constant prayers! Photo of Sibongile

Oct 30, 2018

Yesterday Sibo began to cry during ward rounds when Dr. Lubega told her he was sending her into the operating room the next day for another procedure. Today she is in the OR having her IT band released and was not so happy about going back into surgery. When her name was called to go back, her eyes began to tear up, so we massaged her shoulders and pumped her up like you would an athlete. She began laughing and said, "Ah, Lex! You are so funny, thank you!" She smiled her way into surgery and asks for prayers that she comes out with less pain! Photo of Sibongile

Oct 24, 2018

Our physiotherapist, Bessie, is teaching Sibongile's mom how to do pin-site care for Sibo's frame so she can go home soon! Sibo says physio is getting easier because she's been practicing her exercises all day. She says, "Thank everyone for their prayers!" Photo of Sibongile

Oct 22, 2018

Sibongile says today is a pajama day all day, since it's a little cold outside! She doesn't know much about Batman, but she thinks he must be pretty great because of her pajamas. Sibongile really doesn't like physio, her pain is much better, but physio still really hurts. Please continue to keep her in your prayers and for her physio sessions to become easier! Photo of Sibongile

Oct 18, 2018

Sibongile started her first session of physio today! The doctors have advised her to start pin-site care. She was in a lot of pain, as her surgery was quite intense. We later caught her practicing her exercises in her hospital bed again with her guardian. We said, "Wow, two sessions in one day?" She laughed and said she hopes it helps her heal quicker. What a trooper! Please continue to keep Sibongile in your prayers and that she heals very quickly! Photo of Sibongile

Oct 11, 2018

Sibongile has mixed feelings about surgery today! The doctors will be reconstructing her hip by creating a platform from the femur called a PSO (Pelvic Support Osteotomy) and it will be quite painful. She's excited to get closer to full healing, but not excited to go through the tough part first! Please keep Sibongile in your prayers today during her operation and for a smooth recovery! Photo of Sibongile

Oct 09, 2018

Sibongile has been admitted into the hospital again! She was drawing today with her arm covering her paper so no one could see what she was drawing. When we asked if we could see it, she said, "I hid it somewhere nobody can find!" We searched, but she was right, we couldn't find it! She is good! Even though Sibongile didn't let us take a picture of her work of art, which we know is absolutely beautiful, she still posed for us! The doctors plan on doing a series of X-rays before making a plan for Sibongile. Please pray for Sibongile during her time in the hospital and that we find her hidden drawing! Photo of Sibongile

Aug 01, 2018

Sybil is going home, and Funny's going to give her her very own Bible to take home! Sibongile says, "I'm feeling good. I missed home. I will be happy. The first thing I will do when I get home is go to see my friend Norah. We have a lot to talk about." Sybil will be back October 7th to be readmitted for her next operation, the pelvic support osteotomy. Please pray for safe travels and healing! Photo of Sibongile

Jul 31, 2018

Sibongile says, "I'm doing better today than the other days. I am walking now. Physiotherapy is going well, there's pain but not that much." We asked if she's made any new friends in the hospital since she seems a bit shy, and she told us, "My friend is Shanan's mom. I don't have other friends apart from her. We just chat together." Please pray that Sybil opens up and makes more and more friends in the hospital! Photo of Sibongile

Jul 27, 2018

We brought Sybil her get well messages today and you finally have a glimpse of her great smile! She says, "I'm very thankful, they should continue praying for me so that I get healed. I have four younger siblings - Gladys, Elube, Phillip and Olivia - at home... you can pray that they don't worry about me." Selina asks you to, "Pray that when we meet up with the children I've left at home, they will be safe and healthy." Photo of Sibongile

Jul 26, 2018

"I'm feeling better than yesterday, but still not very well. You can pray I recover." Sibongile is recovering from surgery and still not feeling 100%, but she's so graceful and has a sweet smile even though she feels sick! We asked if she prefers Sibongile or Sybil (which may be easier to say for our English-speaking audiences and is a common nickname) and she say's she's fine with either, so we'll use them interchangeably from now on. Photo of Sibongile

Jul 24, 2018

Sibongile had her surgery today! Dr. Lubega and Dr. Saf went in and removed the painful, dead ball of the hip and cleaned it all up. This means that Sibongile should no longer have any pain! Unfortunately, she'll need another surgery in the future to reconstruct the hip and create a sort of platform from the femur called a PSO (Pelvic Support Osteotomy) which can be quite complicated and take a long time. For now though, we're just celebrating that she will be able to walk without it hurting. Please join us in praying for her while she recovers from surgery! Photo of Sibongile

Jul 23, 2018

Meet Sibongile! She's holding Cliff, another CUREkid! They've both come in this week for surgery. Sibongile will be having a girdlestone operation to help with the pain from her diseased hip joint. The ball of her hip has been affected by a condition called Perthes disease, which has caused it to lose blood supply and die, so the doctors have decided to remove it. Please be praying for Sibongile and Cliff as they have their surgeries later this week! Photo of Sibongile

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