Zourkaleyni's Procedure on
"Not everyone makes fun of him, but many do. What surprised me most was when even some adults mock him," Fati, Zourkaleyni's mother, told us sadly. Fati has gone to bat for her son since day one. Zourkaleyni was born with clubfoot and over time, hi… Read more
"Not everyone makes fun of him, but many do. What surprised me most was when even some adults mock him," Fati, Zourkaleyni's mother, told us sadly. Fati has gone to bat for her son since day one. Zourkaleyni was born with clubfoot and over time, his feet just became worse and worse. Zourkaleyni's family had never seen feet like this before and believed there was nothing they could do for their son other than make the best of a bad situation. Besides the physical challenges of clubfoot, Zourkaleyni has had more than his fair share of emotional challenges starting before he can even remember. When he was born, people would talk and spread rumors about him and why his family had been given a child with clubfoot. They would say that his family was cursed and no one should interact with them, but Fati was having none of it. She made sure everyone understood that her son was not a product of a sin, but just a little boy with different feet. Zourkaleyni does not have too many friends, but he says that he is never alone. He has found some true friends who do not judge him based on his condition and this was his life: a loving family, a few good friends, a feet that made him a social outcast to everyone else. Not a great life, but it was his. All of this changed when one of our CURE Niger outreach missions visited his village. When word got to Zourkaleyni's family, they brought him as fast as they could. They were told that Zourkaleyni's feet are completely treatable with surgery and we put them on the schedule to come to our hospital. Fati, who has fought tooth and nail for her son, is finally taking a moment to breath easy. "It is such a nice feeling to know that my son can now have a future like other kids." she says envisioning Zourkaleyni's life after surgery.
Zourkaleyni is back with us! His right foot is fully healed and it's time to start working on his left foot. Before he gets surgery, the doctors are doing a procedure to help his foot get the best correction possible. What happened is they bent his foot as straight as it would go and then casted it in place. This will help to stretch the soft tissue in his foot (muscles, tendons, etc) and less invasive work will need to be done in surgery later on. Since it's been rainy here a little bit, Z came up with the idea to wrap a plastic bag around the bottom of his cast so he can walk around without getting it wet!
Since Z was put to sleep for his cast change, he needed to stay in the ward overnight so the nurses could keep an eye on him. He ended up having a calm night and was discharged early this morning! He's going to be staying at our patient guest house for a while so he spent today in typical Nigerien fashion, relaxing on a beautifully patterned mat and enjoying his family and friends! He's also making sure to follow the doctor's orders and keep his foot elevated which is good to see.
Zourkaleyni is back in the ward and spreading that joy of his all over the place! He's going into the OR again today for a cast change. The doctors are going to reposition his foot a little bit which would be far too painful if Z was awake so he'll be put to sleep for the whole thing. It's a bit of an ordeal, but it's one step closer to being clubfoot free!
As we had hoped, Z improved over the weekend and was discharged! We're looking forward to seeing him again in a few weeks when that stunning smile of his should be back in full force!
Z has had a rough day today. Yesterday's surgery was a big one and he's feeling it today. Our nurses have set him up with a drug dispensary where he can press a button and get some pain killers as he needs them. He's been doing his best to sleep most of the day. Each moment get's him closer to his final correction though! We were able to sit with him for a while today and share your get-well messages and prayers with him and we thank you for that!
Zourkaleyni has had his surgery! It was a pretty long and invasive surgery where the doctors cut out a wedge of bone from the top of his foot. This gave them enough room to correct the angle of his foot and then cast it up. Even though it took a while, everything went well and Z is back in the ward beginning the hard work of healing. Since the surgery was so intense, he'll most likely be in a good amount of pain and, even with meds, it won't be easy so your prayers are greatly appreciated.
Zourkaleyni has made it here to CURE Niger and is ready to get to work straightening his clubfoot! We're in love with his smile and are pumped to have him here with us! Please keep him in your prayers as he gets ready for surgery.
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