Gloria's Procedure on
“I go to school, but I never leave the classroom,” Gloria tells us. “The other children will provoke me if I try to play with them so I just stay inside.” Gloria was born with no signs of anything abnormal, but when she was three years old,… Read more
“I go to school, but I never leave the classroom,” Gloria tells us. “The other children will provoke me if I try to play with them so I just stay inside.” Gloria was born with no signs of anything abnormal, but when she was three years old, her legs began to bow outwards and they never stopped bowing. Her family sought medical care in their home country of Sierra Leone, but no one had the specialization needed to treat legs such as Gloria’s. Thankfully, in their search for healing, Gloria’s family came in contact with a NGO that knew about us here at CURE Niger and was able to facilitate Gloria coming all the way here to us. Now that Gloria is here, our medical staff will start the journey towards healing with her and will eventually send her home walking tall and proud!
Gloria has been here long enough that she's gone through several waves of friends. We're thankful that this friend, Aicha, has been here for a decent amount of time and both her and Gloria have bonded rather tightly. Gloria is teaching Aicha English and Aicha is teaching Gloria French. They make their friendship work regardless of language!
Last week, we had been telling Gloria how CURE is based in the United States and how July 4th is when the US celebrates their independence. She thought about it a bit and decided we should celebrate as well, but we had to make a cake for her (really she just wanted a cake). We didn't quite pull off a cake, but today we made a snack tower for Gloria and her friends. Gloria then went and shared it with everyone in the ward who is still healing up from their surgeries which was great to see! We love this young woman's heart and generosity!
Gloria got to read y'alls get well messages today! Since she speaks English and is a pro at school, she read your get wells herself. She is thankful for y'alls prayers and she says she hopes that in everything you do you will be great just as she has been doing great throughout her healing process. She says thank you so much for your prayers and they are very appreciated!
Gloria is doing so well. Today she got to go to art therapy where she was coloring. As she colored we talked a bit about how she's feeling and what she misses about home. Gloria said that the heat in Niger is too much and that she just wants to go back to Sierra Leones cool weather.
Gloria got to see the doctor today! Everything went well and all the news was pointed in the right direction of slow, but sure healing. The bummer is that Gloria cannot yet go home. Since Gloria lives in Sierra Leone which is almost 1,500 miles from CURE Niger, the doctors want everything to be perfect before she heads back. It's better to be safe than sorry when follow up appointments and check ins will not be possible once she leaves. Her bone is indeed getting strong and her walking is getting more confident. The doctors say they'll check in with her again in six more weeks!
We saw Gloria this morning having a good time playing with her friend Aicha! With the help of Salamatou, Gloria and Aicha were able to finish the puzzle they were working on. We're thankful for the gift of friendships made here at CURE Niger!
Gloria had a fun day today in the art therapy room. Today she got to play with a puzzle block where each side of each block put together ends up making a different picture. At first, it was hard for her but soon got the hang of it. She then played with Aicha, her friend, and together they colored and drew different animals. We're thankful that through your support we can have fun things like art therapy to keep the kids occupied!
The big news today is that Gloria's sister has headed back to Sierra Leone. Her school was starting and she needed to get back. While Gloria is almost done, she does still need to stay with us a little longer in order to make sure she's fully healed. We hung out with Gloria a little this morning outside of bandage change and this is the face she gave us when we asked her if she'll be alright here by herself. She says she's 18 now and has been here two years so she feels extremely at home here and will be completely fine!
Gloria had a successful surgery! The doctors did not want to give her a cage this time so they decided to put in a rod that would hold her bone in place. The procedure was longer, but in the end, it was worth it. The rod will hold her bone in place until it is ready and completely healed. Thank you for your prayers for her!
Gloria is back in the ward and we are so excited for her! She will be getting work done on her right leg. The doctors said that her leg can be straighter than it is now so she is back to get it done. Pray for her as she goes into the OR that everything goes as planned!
Today Gloria was in art therapy where she was painting a picture of her family. Gloria will be back in the ward next week and she will undergo another surgery. Please pray for her so that she feels ready when the day comes!
Gloria's frame removal went flawlessly and she is now frame free! She had a whole slew of well wishers, like Salamatou from our Spiritual Staff here, and people just plain excited for her to take this massive next step! Unfortunately, Gloria was feeling pretty nauseous so her own excitement was somewhat muted. Sickness aside, the doctors have said there's no reason to keep her in the ward so she has been discharged back to the guesthouse where she'll continue walking and healing and we're so excited for her!
Today is the day! Gloria is going into surgery to get the cage fully removed from her leg! We had a chance to deliver a few get well messages this morning as well as just chat with her a little. She says she's both excited and nervous about the removal today. Excited that she's finally getting the cage off, but nervous because she remembers the pain when she got her last cage off. She'll obviously be asleep during the removal, but there's always a little pain in the recovery process which is never fun. Please celebrate with us about Gloria's progress and please continue praying for complication free next steps!
So much good news for you today! Gloria had an x-ray early this morning and then a doctor's appointment to check out said x-ray. Her bone is healing and strengthening as planned to the point where we can start removing the cage! Today, she had the tensioning wires removed and, assuming everything continues well, Gloria will be able to go into surgery in a few weeks to get the entire cage completely removed!
Gloria has been here for so long that it's easy to forget just how far she's come. To try and illustrate her progress, we captured this video of her walking (crutch free - how cool is that?!) and put it with one of the clips of her walking right when she arrived at CURE Niger. She's moving slowly, but it's amazing! Moving forward, Gloria is going to have an x-ray soon and if it confirms that her bone is stabilizing, we'll be able to slowly start loosening her cage and eventually remove it!
Gloria has made real progress. She now walks crutch free. She is killing the healing process! We are happy that Gloria has made some big improvements. Today in art therapy, she had the choice to do what she wanted and she chose to color. She claimed coloring is the activity that requires the least energy and she needs her energy so she can walk. Pray for her as she starts this phase of walking without a crutch and that she will soon be fully healed!
The healing process is still slowly moving forward. Gloria spent today helping our spiritual staff telling the story about how Paul/Saul became a Christian to the kids and then joined in on a coloring page about the story. She's also thankful that there are a few more English speakers staying at the hospital. She's done an incredible job at learning Hausa, one of the most common local languages, but it's always nice to be able to talk in a language you're comfortable in!
Gloria got a visit today from CURE Board Member Marcia Lanoha. She was also bragging about how it's getting easier and easier to walk and even though she still has the cage on her leg, she can walk further now than she ever could when her legs were bowed!
Gloria received a bandage change today! She was in a good mood, her leg is doing way better. Our Storyteller Intern, Ezy, was making jokes with her before the bandage change and did the moonwalk so Gloria said, "I'll Michal Jackson now!" Everything is going well and she hopes to see the doctor soon so he can see her progress!
Gloria joined us today in celebrating our Storyteller intern Ezy's birthday along with some other staff and patients! We managed to surprise him and all got to share a M&M brownie cake. Healing isn't the most fun thing in the world, but we do our best to try and keep it interesting!
We got a visit from some volunteers today. They taught us a craft making dolls out of plastic spoons. Gloria was done before they even finished giving the instructions! Pray for her as she continues to heal up.
Gloria got her walker back today and was discharged! But not until after spending some time with the spiritual team (out of focus in the background) in prayer. The high of getting the surgery and her birthday is wearing off and the tough reality of the time and healing that need to take place are setting in. As always, please keep Gloria in your prayers. Prayers for patience and determination!
Gloria's healing up nicely after her surgery and, to make things even better, TODAY IS HER BIRTHDAY! Our spiritual staff knew and were able to secretly put together a little party for her. They busted her out of the ward for a little bit to eat some cake and drink some soft drinks with all her friends from the guest house and here on staff! https://youtu.be/1YwZHfwQQfo
Gloria's surgery was a success! The doctors did the same procedure they did on her left leg over a year ago. They took a wedge of bone out of her leg which allowed them to essentially break the bone straight. Remembering how Gloria's last leg didn't automatically start to heal the surgically split bone last time, the doctors have opted to put her leg into an external fixating cage right away. This means Gloria doesn't have a cast, but she'll need to stay off her leg and be extremely careful for at least a month as it heals up! It was a big surgery and the whole hospital is excited for Gloria as she moves forward!
Today is finally the day we've been waiting for for so long! Gloria is going in for surgery on her right leg! Gloria's mom had to go back to Sierra Leone last week, but Gloria's sister, Mariam (laughing in the background), is here hanging out with Gloria. Our doctors have mapped out a plan they believe will allow Gloria to avoid a lot of the complications that happened during Gloria's healing process for her last leg. Will you join us in praying that these plans work and that God is glorified throughout the entire process?
Gloria was pleasantly surprised when she woke up and saw that her whole cage was gone! She was discharged this morning and is already walking around the hospital cage free! She says thank you to all of you for your kind prayers and get well messages.
It was more like a mechanic's shop than a surgical room for Gloria's procedure. There were wrenches all over the place. But incredible news! The plan was to just remove part of Gloria's cage, but the doctor ended up removing the entire thing based on how strong her bone has become! Now cage free, Gloria can continue to walk on her leg and the medical staff are discussing the possibility of finally starting on Gloria's second leg in as little time as two weeks!
Gloria is heading back into surgery to get some of her cage removed from her leg! Here you can see Dr. Jean Francois explaining the plan to her this morning. Will you please be praying as we all hesitantly get excited by this big step forward??
To help pass the time, Gloria has started making jewellery out of beads and string! Our spiritual staff often does little vocational trainings for the mothers (sewing, soap making, etc) and Gloria really took to the jewellery making lesson. She's even made a few pieces that some of the CURE Niger staff members have ended up buying!
Gloria is still walking around, strengthening her leg. Thankfully she got to this point in time for a fashion show we hosted here at CURE Niger! Gloria got to model a dress made by a friend's mom in America that was shipped over here just for her!
Gloria has traded her wheelchair in for a walker! Every step puts a little stress on her leg which, in turn, helps it heal stronger. Soon she'll be able to have the cage off and, Lord willing, we can talk about her next leg!
Gloria took part in a group art therapy session today where they made pots and pipe cleaner flowers. As one of the older kids, Gloria took it upon herself to help Aba (hidden behind the flower in this photo) who's become a little friend of hers as they share a room along with their mothers in the guest house.
One of the things Gloria has been missing the most about being home has been going to school. She says she especially misses math class. We've been doing a little math with her here and there, but we're no teachers. Thankfully, we have a teacher from Canada visiting who has been doing some math with Gloria. Today they're taking on long division!
Gloria is one of the oldest long term patients we have at the hospital, but she's not too cool to have some fun and be a little silly! Today, she joined in on a craft session where we made crowns (and glasses evidently) and talked about God is the King and that makes us, as his children, princes and princesses!
We were able to spend some time with Gloria this morning delivering a whole bunch of your get well messages! Between the good news about her bone finally strengthening and the encouragement from your get well messages, Gloria was back out on the walking bars early this morning, determined to get better!
Gloria is going back into the OR for a quick visit today. The doctors want to take her in and do a quick exploration to verify that her bones are finally healing. While she was waiting to go in, she had a visit from a radio talk show host in America (Wally from The Wally Show on WAY-FM) who is here learning more about CURE!
Gloria had another visit with the doctor today. We're waiting for that small hole you can see on her leg to heal up. It's staying nice and clean with no sign of infection which is great! She's still taking her antibiotics every day and practicing walking both in the morning and the afternoon! She'll be getting her monthly xray soon to see how the bone is strengthening. Once both the wound is healed and the bone appears strong enough, the screws will be loosened on the cage. If she can walk for a week with loose screws and no pain, the cage can be removed! There are a lot of "ifs" here, but we are indeed moving forward!
Gloria has been spending her mornings practicing walking as putting weight on her leg will help it heal. She was pretending to be embarrassed when we brought the camera out, but she's excited about any little indication of progress! We were able to read her several of your get well messages to encourage her to keep up with her walking even though she tells us that it hurts.
Gloria spent the morning doing some work with our art therapist and then joining in some group games! Her healing is still going slowly, but well. As always, please keep her progress and spirit in your prayers!
Gloria is in much better spirits today, possibly because her little friend came to visit her. While we always see her with this particular baby, she says she loves any and all babies! After their little visit session, Gloria ended up getting discharged back to our patient guest house. She'll have a x-ray today and then we just wait for the results to come back from the lab!
Listening in on the doctor's rounds this morning, we realized we conveyed slightly incorrect information to you yesterday. We had told you the doctors had removed the infection when we should have told you the doctors removed the infected tissue in Gloria's leg. Since the infection is a bacterial infection, we can't just go in and pick out all the bacteria. Samples of the bacteria were taken though and sent off to a lab for analysis. When we get the results back, we will be able to better treat the infection and, ultimately, beat it!
Our young lady has her surgical cleaning today! It's a straight forward process, but please keep us all in your prayers and we all want to move forward with her treatment! Gloria isn't exactly happy about being back in the ward and has a "let's just get this over" attitude about her which we can completely understand. Specifically, you can be praying for patience for Gloria and her mother as well the complete removal of the infection that has us stalled in the whole process!
Gloria got to spend some time with one of our spiritual staff today reading some Bible stories. Gloria would pick the story and Colomb would translate it from French into English! At the point when this photo was taken, they were working their way through the Jonah story. On the medical front, we're still fighting this infection and Gloria is scheduled to go back into surgery later this week. The doctors plan on surgically removing the infected tissue, getting us one step closer to being able to tackle her other leg!
Gloria is slowly finding her place in the hospital community. She's recently taken to helping mind the little brother of another patient and she's a natural with him! It's common, in this part of Africa, for girls Gloria's age to already have been taken out of school, married off, and have babies of their own, but Gloria's mom made sure we knew Gloria is a straight A student in school and will absolutely not be getting married before she finishes!
Gloria (L) had an impromptu consultation with our medical director, Dr. Negrini (R), and a visiting orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Frederico (M). They're hoping to carry out some big plans with this little lady as soon as we're 100% in the clear from this infection!
Gloria is doing infinitely better this week! She's back doing her physical therapy and gaining strength. We also have a visitor here that has taught Gloria how to knit and having something constructive to fill her day with seems to have made all the difference! Praise God for sending His blessings, in the form of others, right when they are most needed!
Gloria was discharged from the ward, back to the guesthouse today. She is feeling slightly better about the whole process, but still isn't exactly pumped. She didn't want any photos taken so we've obliged, but we're still sharing all your get well messages with her. They mean a lot to her during this difficult time. Thank you.
Gloria's surgical cleaning today was quick and painless. The biggest issue she has to deal with are the emotions of yet another set back. We were able to sit down with her and deliver several of your get well messages which did manage to bring a small smile to her face so thank you for that!
Gloria went to see the doctor today. He had been hoping to talk about starting the process on her second leg, but instead found that her previous leg is yet again infected and resistent to medication. This needs to be taken care of before anything else can be done so Gloria will be headed back into surgery tomorrow. The doctors will have to go in and manually clean out the infection. Both Gloria and her mom are taking yet another delay pretty hard. Please continue praying with us.
Gloria has officially started the next step of her healing: physical therapy to get her walking. Her leg is now strong enough to gently put weight on it. This will help strengthen the bone as it continues to grow together. Soon, we should be at the point where the cage can come off!
Since Gloria is from Sierra Leone and only speaks English, it's hard to find people are here to hang out with. Our facilities manager, Youssoufou, happens to speak some English and now that Gloria has discovered this, they're having some fun!
Slowly but surely, Gloria is healing up! She's on a strict regimen of wound cleanings and bandage changes. She has a doctor's appointment coming up here shortly where we will get the final word on how things are coming together! Please be praying as we're all ready to be taking some steps forward here instead of just waiting around.
Gloria got discharged today, which she is overjoyed about as the ward isn't the most fun place to hang out for days on end. Before Gloria left, though, she was prayed over by our spiritual staff as well as some visiting pastors! Please join us in prayer for Gloria she continues her healing process!
Gloria's surgery turned out to be quite complicated and took much longer than was expected. That's the bad news. The good news is it all worked out! The infection has been cleared out from her leg and the external fixator was successfully installed. She's resting up in the ward now. Please continue praying for emotional strength for both Gloria and her mother, Abigail. They've been here a long time and it's hard to be in a strange country, with a strange language, strange food, and so on. It's wearing on them, but we are making progress!
In the time since we've last updated you on Gloria, her leg has still refused to fuse the two parts of her bone back together. On top of this, her leg has become infected. Gloria will be heading back into surgery tomorrow to clean out the lingering infection, and to receive an external fixator that will essentially force her bone to heal back in place. It's not as elegant as letting her body heal herself, but since her body is not doing it's job, this will work just fine and allow us all to start thinking about the future again!
Gloria has been discharged back to the guest house after her time in the ward. Unfortunately, what the doctors discovered is that the lower cut they made in her tibia during her first surgery isn't healing. Gloria's body, essentially, doesn't recognize that the two halves of the tibia are two parts of the same bone and is therefore, making no effort to join the two. It's looking like the doctors will need to put a few pins in there to force joining of the bones. This is far from the end of the world, but it isn't the news we were hoping for. Gloria has already been with us for six months and she wants to go home. It's discouraging that the first leg is taking so long and there is still the whole second leg to go. Please be praying for her!
Gloria is back in the ward again. Her x-ray looked good, but the doctors want to take a closer look at things. She'll be going in the OR again today and will be put to sleep, but it will just be so that the doctors can conduct a check-up on her without hurting her. There was a little miscommunication with Gloria's mother who thought Gloria was going in for the operation on her second leg. She's feeling a little frustrated knowing that is not happening just yet. Please be praying for patience, that this exam goes well, and that Gloria's next surgery can happen soon!
While Gloria is still waiting for her next doctor's appointment, she attended today's Bible lesson about Abraham almost sacrificing his son. The story then transitioned into an explanation about how God allowed Jesus to be sacrificed for our sins and a complete gospel presentation! Please be praying that God works in the hearts of these beautiful children and caretakers!
The doctors have been encouraging Gloria that she needs to be walking on her leg more in order to strengthen it before the cast comes off. As a result, Gloria is spending a little time each day in our physical therapy office practicing walking (with a little assistance). It's hard and tiring, but she's doing great and your encouragement helps!
Gloria had her follow up appointment with the doctor today and things are looking better! She got her cast off and got to see the progress on her leg before a new cast got put on. Her wounds have all healed up nicely, but there's still sign of infection. She is going to stay on antibiotics for another two weeks when she will have another follow up appointment. Hopefully, we can get started on her other leg soon!
Gloria has been walking a little bit around the guest house, but today she's taken to walking around the whole hospital! It's a challenge for her as her two legs are very different lengths right now, but we'll fix that when we straighten her second leg!
With her next follow up appointment not until next month, Gloria is playing the waiting game at this point. With that said, there are tentative discussions going on about her next surgery which looks like it'll be a go ahead in September!
Gloria had another follow up appointment today. The infection is gone and she's got a new cast that will allow her to start walking! It's difficult since her legs are now different lengths, but progress is progress!
Gloria's new cast is not a full on cast. It is a hard splint on the back of her leg and then bandages wrapped tight. It still gives the support of a cast, but allows the nurses to clean the wounds on a regular basis. Today was Gloria's first day going in for her wound cleaning!
Gloria had her first follow up appointment today! She got her cast off and there's a slight infection in one of her wounds, as well as some dead skin that has to be taken care of. Everything was thoroughly cleaned and a new, smaller cast was put on. She was also given some medication to help fight the infection until she comes back in next week to see how it's all working!
Gloria still has a few more weeks until her first post-surgery check up so she's been biding the time in our guest house. Overall, she's been doing well, but she got a bit sick over the weekend. Luckily, she's living at a hospital, so here you can see her consulting with one of our doctors. We got her the meds she needs and soon she'll be righter than rain!
Gloria was discharged from the ward and will be staying in our guest house for the next few months as we go through this whole process together! To help pass the time, her mother picked up a board game (similar to Trouble) from the market!
Gloria just arrived here in Niger from her home in Sierra Leone to get her legs straightened right out! We're pumped to have her and that great smile here with us for the next few months as we tackle her bow legs together!
Send a Message to Gloria
We'll deliver your message to Gloria at her hospital bed.