Zahara's Procedure on
"We do not know what caused it, but it was very hard to deal with at first", said Hindo, Zahara's grandmother. Zahara was only two years old when her knees first began to knock inwards. Her knees prevented her from doing many things, but the one sh… Read more
"We do not know what caused it, but it was very hard to deal with at first", said Hindo, Zahara's grandmother. Zahara was only two years old when her knees first began to knock inwards. Her knees prevented her from doing many things, but the one she cares the most about is she cannot play as hard as the rest of her friends and siblings. The one her family cares most about is Zahara's knees prevent her from going to school. As is the case for many families in Niger, Zahara's school is a long distance from where she lives. Her knees already make it hard to walk and walking the distance to school is next to impossible for this young lady. Zahara's family is also afraid what would be waiting for her once she arrived. Zahara is already mocked and judged incessantly by people in her village so her families believes, with good reason, school with be no different. The way Zahara is treated by those around her has taught her to be fearful and timid around people she does not know. Unfortunately, trust no longer comes naturally to this little one.
Thankfully though, this is beginning to change! A pastor in Zahara's village learned about us here at CURE Niger through our growing network of partner pastors and he shared the hope of healing with Zahara's family! The fact that Zahara seemed like she would not be able to do anything broke their heart, but they began to see a glimpse of a hopeful future with this news. The pastor contacted CURE Niger and Zahara and her grandmother made the long journey here to us. "It is already a blessing to hear that something can be done, but to be here now is surreal," Hindo ended.
Today, Zahara is going home! She's been back and forth from CURE Niger a lot this year but our doctors say she's finally doing well enough to have a longer break - six months before her next checkup! "We're so thankful to God!" Her mom told us - we're happy she's healed up enough to leave, but we are all going to miss her!
Zahara is usually pretty quiet, but when she's with her friends she starts to relax - today they took over the Storyteller desk and started drawing get well cards for a sick staff member. Even as she's forming better and better friendships, she's getting stronger physically - "I still need my grandmother's support [walking without my walker]," she tells us, "But it's getting easier and easier."
Zahara went to see the doctor today and he said she's strong enough to ditch her walker! She still has a limp but we are glad to know she is getting better. "It's hard to move around now," she says, "The walker helped me so much." But Zahara's mom is so patient, walking by her side no matter how slow. We pray that soon her new life without a walker becomes second nature!
Zahara is always happy in art therapy! Today the children were making paper suns and also had a lesson about how to identify angry emotions and handle those emotions in a positive way. Besides art therapy, Zahara has been having regular wound cleanings where she had her pins out just to make sure she doesn't get infected as she heals up!
Zahara is back and had an appointment with our CURE Niger nurses in the bandage change room! The big piece of progress today was having the pins taken out of her knee. It's not actually a painful procedure, but it is a little unnerving to watch a long piece of metal coming out of your leg. Zahara was definitely nervous, but she handled it like a pro!
As we were playing with the kids, Zahara happily stole Storyteller Joel's hat and put it on. She is back for another check up. The doctor said she is doing well and gave her both a new cast and a walking boot. Even though we are sad she is leaving us again so soon, we are happy to know we will be seeing her in another six weeks for her next follow up!
Zahara left at the end of last week. We will miss her a lot and cannot wait to see her back for a checkup.
"It doesn't hurt at all!" Zahara laughed while answering our question if she was in any pain. It was a surprising answer considering how big her surgery was, but we're glad her pain management plan is doing its job! The doctors also agree Zahara is doing well so after she hung out with Salamatou from our Spiritual Staff, Zahara was discharged! She'll still be staying in our long term patient guesthouse for a bit, but the hard part is now over! Thanks for covering this little one with your prayers.
After already having been in surgery once, Zahara handled this second surgery like a little champ! The doctors operated on and successfully straightened her left leg this time! While she didn't seemed phased by it, please be praying for her as she now starts to heal up.
Now that Zahara is infection free and she's had some time in physical therapy to get used to her one corrected leg, it's time for her next surgery! Notice how she's leaning to the left in this photo? That's because after her right leg was straightened, it's now longer than her left, still bent leg. We can't wait to get her left straightened too so Zahara can stand tall! Please join us in praying for her as she gets ready for her surgery!
Zahara was hanging out with our spiritual staff in the playground today doing some coloring. They were learning the Bible story of Naaman who had leprosy and how God used the faith of a servant girl to get him the healing he needed! The lessons to be learned here are that God can use girls to accomplish his plans (not a common belief in Niger) and God is the great healer who is the one behind our healing here at CURE Niger!
"She's a strong girl. She doesn't even cry in physical therapy."Zahara's grandmother Hindo bragged today as they were walking back to the guesthouse after Zahara's session. Zahara let out a little smile to confirm her grandmother's words. Physio can indeed be tough, but Zahara is tougher and we love seeing her slowly get better and better!
We have some GREAT news for you today! Zahara is officially infection free! She's still hanging out here and staying in out guesthouse while she has regular physical therapy sessions. It's intuitive for most people, but learning how to use your newly straight leg after years of having knock knees is no joke!
Zahara joined in a group art therapy session today where they made and painted shields! SImilar to the many Bible verses that talk about how the Lord is our shield and protects us in the face of evil!
While Zahara was waiting for her bandage change and wound cleaning this morning, Dr Anthony sat down with her and a few other patients to have a little chat! We love that we have doctors who view their patients as friends rather than a chore to be done!
Zahara took part in some arts and crafts time where we all colored in paper crowns. As we were working, Emanuel from our spiritual staff took some time to explain that God is the King of Kings and that if we follow him, we are his children which makes us princesses and princes! Would you join us in praying Zahara comes to understand this in the core of who she is?
Infections can be a beast to beat and Zahara is still hard at work battling hers! It's been a week of regular visits with our nurses and thorough cleanings of the infected areas. Please be praying with us that Zahara beats this infection and can soon move on to the next stage of healing!
Unfortunately the doctors found a slight infection which is preventing Zahara from going in for her pin removal surgery. Right now, she's hanging out here at CURE Niger for regular cleanings of the infected area. The plus side is that she got to take part in our Ice Cream Friday today and had her very first taste of ice cream EVER! How cold it was freaked her out at first, but she came around and is already looking forward to next Friday!
Zahara came back for her check up today and the doctors were able to share the good news that her leg is all healed up! She's going back into the OR soon to have the surgical pins removed from her leg. After that, she'll have some physical therapy before she comes back for her next surgery in October!
Zahara is doing well and she has not complained of any pain! "She didn't cry at all during the night" Grandma Hindo said proudly. Zahara is a very strong girl and she says that she knows she will not cry. The doctors agree that she's super tough and have said that she can go home today! We'll be praying for her as she continues healing up at home and we're already looking forward to seeing her in roughly six weeks for her follow up appointment!
Zahara has had her surgery and she was all smiles up until the point where she went to sleep! The doctors cut out a wedge in her bone which gave them the space they needed to straighten the angle of her right leg. They then drilled two pins in an x shape to hold the two parts of her bone in place. The doctors used an x-ray to double-checked everything was perfectly straight before the sewed her back up and sent her to the ward to recover!
Zahara is here at CURE Niger and we are excited to get to know her. She is a bit quiet, but her smile says all we need to know about her excitement to get her knock knees straightened! Please keep her in your prayers as she preps for surgery.
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