Rabiatou's Procedure on
“There were so many people mocking Rabiatou, that we had to leave our town,” Rabiatou’s mother tells us, her disappointment in her neighbors evident on her face. Rabi was born just like any other young lady, but when she was two years old her… Read more
“There were so many people mocking Rabiatou, that we had to leave our town,” Rabiatou’s mother tells us, her disappointment in her neighbors evident on her face. Rabi was born just like any other young lady, but when she was two years old her legs began to bow outwards. Their family and friends all believed that it was just a part of growing and Rabi’s legs would straighten out with time. But as the years passed and her legs continued to bow worse and worse, Rabi’s mother knew something must be done. Rabi was taken to a nearby hospital where she received several x-rays that confirmed the seriousness of the situation, but this hospital did not have the specialization necessary to treat Rabi. Thankfully, Rabi’s mother was able to get in touch with several medical NGO’s in their country of Sierra Leone. These NGO’s also did not have the specialization necessary to treat legs as tricky as Rabi’s, but they were able to get Rabi in touch with us here at CURE Niger and even funded the plane tickets needed to get Rabi to Niger. It will be a long journey of healing for Rabi now that she is with us, but when she leaves, she will do so on straight legs!
In the time since the last update, Rabi and her mother have gone back to Sierra Leone. They didn't get the go-ahead from our medical staff as they should've been coming back for more follow up appointments to make sure everything continues on course. With this said, our other patient from Sierra Leone just had a phone conversation with Rabi and said she's doing well. Her legs are strong and straight and she's begun going back to school! Please keep her in your prayers. It's not optimal for her to have gone home like she did, but we're praying for the best!
We're glad we updated you when we did as Rabi's X-ray showed only good things and she's left us for the time being! She's been discharged to go stay with an aunt of hers who lives nearby. We were thrilled seeing how much better she was doing yesterday, we and can't wait to see her progress when she stops by next!
Rabi went in for her first wound cleaning where it was determined that it was too delicate for the nurses to confidently treat. She ended up going into the OR (but not put to sleep) for the doctors to take care of it, which meant another day hanging out in the ward!
We were able to talk to the doctors a little bit more and the reason for the new type of cast is that they found her wounds were becoming infected when they were changing the cast. This type of cast allows them easy access to the wound for cleaning while also giving the leg the support it needs. Rabi is getting a few antibiotics today and then she'll be heading back to the guest house!
Rabi's new cast is much easier to work with. It's actually just a plaster brace that goes on the back of her leg and then it's wrapped up tight with bandages. It's lighter, breathes easier, and Rabi is one happy young lady!
Rabi has put yet another successful surgery in the books! The deal with this one was that around the knee area of each leg, there are two clumps of tissue called growth plates. One is on the left side of the leg and one is on the right side of the leg. These growth plates control how fast the leg grows. As part of Rabi's first surgery, these plates had to be cut in order for the leg to heal properly. During the healing process, Rabi did such a good job of healing, that she actually healed one of these intentional cuts. If one growth plate is intact while the other is not, the two sides of the same leg will grow at different speeds and bow her leg out again. Hence the surgery to make sure this doesn't happen. It was a simple surgery and Rabi is once again resting in the ward! Thank you for your prayers for her!
Rabi's surgery went well and she's now got two straight legs! With this said, it was a pretty major surgery and she will be in a significant amount of pain as she comes off the meds. Please keep her in your prayers as she starts the hard healing process.
Rabi had her follow up appointment today and all that hard work has paid off! The doctors say everything is looking good and it's time to tackle her next leg! We're working on figuring out the best time, but she's been given ASAP priority!
It's a struggle for Rabi, but she's diligent in trying to walk around the hospital. Most of the time her mom follows her with a chair to rest as it doesn't take long for Rabi's leg to hurt too much to continue on.
We had a little Bible lesson today where the children learned that they are all sons and daughters of God the King which makes them princes and princesses. They then colored in some paper crowns. Rabi got a little excited about all the color choices!
Rabi's new cast isn't really a full on cast (which she is very happy about). It's a splint that goes on the back of her leg to keep things nice and straight, and then a wrap around the rest of the leg which allows the wounds to breathe easier and heal up faster. This means that Rabi has now joined the crew going in for regular wound cleanings and bandage changes. Either way, she's just happy to be out of the guest house more!
Rabi finally had her first follow up appointment today! She got her cast off and the wires removed from her leg (never a fun experience), but things are looking good. The doctors are pleased with the correction and how the wounds are healing up. Rabi got a new, smaller cast on and she'll have another follow up in a month!
Rabi was playing a game with us today where she'd ask for a photo, but then do her best to hide her face when we went to take it. After a while, we were able to sneak attack her and get this shot! Definitely not her best side, but we don't feel all that bad for her in this case!
Rabi is in the clear and she's been allowed to leave the ward! Since she's going to need a number of check ups as well as several more surgeries, she'll be staying in our guest house until we're done with this whole process!
So Rabi's surgery went off without a hitch! Her leg needed to be operated on in two places to get it nice and straight. In each of those spots, the doctors went in and cut out a wedge of bone which allowed them to break the bone straight. She's in a good amount of pain right now, but she's taking it like a champ!
Rabi has made the long journey to us here in Niger all the way from her home in Sierra Leone! She doesn't speak any of the languages spoken here in Niger, but she does speak English so there are a few of us here in the hospital she can chat with!
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