Manirou's Procedure on
"The other kids have made a game where they try to knock him off balance and to the ground," Manirou's mother Kadi tells us, her eyes cast down. She then proceeds to describe how he tries to hold back tears until he can make it home and cry freely.… Read more
"The other kids have made a game where they try to knock him off balance and to the ground," Manirou's mother Kadi tells us, her eyes cast down. She then proceeds to describe how he tries to hold back tears until he can make it home and cry freely. Manirou was born just like any other child, but when he started to walk, Kadi noticed that his legs didn't look like those of other children his age: they bent outwards in strange ways. When his legs continued to get worse, Kadi took him to a local hospital, but the medical staff there weren't sure what was wrong with him and couldn't help. In the years since then, Manirou has struggled to make friends and go about his life. Thankfully, one of our CURE Niger outreach teams visited his village and gave Kadi a flyer about the conditions we treat. On the flyer she saw other children with legs like Manirou's and she began to dream of a disability free future for Manirou! Now that Manirou is here at CURE Niger, our surgical team will straighten his legs and send him home standing tall and proud!
Manirou loved watching his mom use a sewing machine for the first time! Mantou from our spiritual team gave all our patient moms a mini-lesson, and everyone found it pretty entertaining. Manirou's continuing to heal well - now he just has to go to physical therapy three times a week instead of five. Keep praying for him as his leg gets stronger and stronger.
Manirou's had another good week - physical therapy, art therapy, and more bandage changes have been part of his regular diet, and it's working. We got some new games last week and he's been having fun checking them out - although this one was too easy for him! Keep praying for his recovery and his next operation - soon our orthopedic surgeon will arrive and once she does, our medical team can start making plans to operate on Manirou's second leg.
Manirou really liked hearing all your get well messages - they added a bit more joy to an already joyful week. He's been going to physical therapy every day, faithfully doing his exercises and seeing slow and steady improvement in the way his knee can bend. The other morning our operations manager, Jacques ran into him waiting for his appointment and started joking with him. “Ah, you’re about to go to physical therapy," joked Jacques. “It's gonna be intense - can you handle it?” “It’s already my third time this week,” bragged Manirou, “And it doesn’t even hurt.” Looks like he's handling it fine. Keep praying for Manirou as he sticks around CURE Niger a bit longer.
Manirou just had his six-week check-up and ... he doesn't have to wear a cast anymore! His leg is straight, and now it's time to ease into physical therapy. "We need to go slow with his leg," said Sodogos, our CURE Niger physical therapist. "Because his case is a big one, it'll take a long time, but we'll get there." Manirou will stay with us at the hospital a bit longer while he starts his physical therapy regimen. He'll also start wearing a brace on his foot at night. "His leg was corrected by surgery," says Dr. Karim. "But his foot is still curved inward." The brace and the physical therapy should go a long way to making sure that both Manirou's leg and foot are straight. It's been a long road for this guy, and he's got a long way to go yet, but there's a blessing in this - he loves the hospital and has a family of support in our spiritual team. His life here is far different than the one he left - instead of begging on the street and being taunted by other kids, he's playing with other kids and receiving the free gift of healing!
"I'm so happy here," Manirou told Salamatou from our spiritual team. "My mom and my little brother can go home, but I will stay at the hospital with you." Today in art therapy all the patients drew something they wouldn't otherwise be able to tell us, and that's what Manirou wanted to say. Of course, Salamatou had her own response ready. "You've been telling us all this time about all your plans for the future––having a farm and raising cattle with your brothers. How will you do all of that if you stay here? Or will you become a doctor instead?" she asked. Manirou just laughed. We're glad to know that he feels so at peace and at home here. Soon, he'll have a follow-up appointment and he'll find out just how well his leg is healing. From there, our team will decide if it's safe for him to go home or if he should continue on with us at his 'new home' a bit longer.
Manirou is hanging in strong! He's been at the hospital for a long time, and he'll be here at least until his upcoming appointment. That is when our team decides whether his bones are strong enough to weather the long journey home. Meanwhile, he keeps up his positive energy and passes the time with art therapy, games, films and Bible teachings. Pray that he, his mom and his little brother would continue to be encouraged through our spiritual ministry.
Manirou and his little brother are excited about all the presents they've been getting lately, so much so that when we asked them what the best part of THIS week was they told us it was the Operation Christmas Child gifts they got LAST week! Manirou also got a cast change this week, but he's still got a few more weeks to go before his next follow-up appointment to see how his leg is healing. Pray for him, his brother and his mom as they wait here.
Manirou's little brother, Ganiou, is so cute - he's responding to a question our staff asked during a gospel presentation, raising his hand and waiting patiently even though there are only five kids present. Of course Manirou is sitting next to him like a great older brother, listening and not grabbing the stage. Both they and their mom understand and love the gospel, and even though they've heard it before they're eager to learn more. How cool that it's not only our patients that get to profit from God's work here, but their families too.
Surprise ... we get to keep Manirou around a bit longer! Last week our doctors released Manirou for six weeks. But after consulting with Balki, our social worker, Manirou's mom decided to stay. "They live in a very remote region with unreliable roads," said Balki. "We're not sure if he could harm his leg on the journey." Manirou was excited to go home, but he doesn't seem to mind the change in plans. "I had a great week!" he told us. This morning we caught him recreating a transport vehicle here in Niger, and he got it pretty much right - these mini buses can be loaded up to three times their height with grain, supplies and merchandise. Are we glad Manirou's not going home on one of them? Very much so.
Good news for Manirou - it's time to go home! He happily posed for photos while his mom and nurse Rakiatou discussed plans for his continued care at home. Afterwards, Dr. Karim explained Manirou's progress to us - "We can see that the sections of bone we rearranged are getting stronger," he said, pointing to this morning's MRI. "It's not yet strong enough to take off the cast," he continued. "But we're giving him extra calcium to help him along."
This morning, Manirou got a cast change - even though he wasn't schedule for one until next week's follow-up appointment, but Manirou's leg was showing a few small signs of infection and our team wanted to nip the problem in the bud! While staying at our long term patient guest house isn't always the most fun, it's beneficial to be so close to top notch medical care!
This morning Manirou joined the other longterm patients coloring in a picture of Jesus calming a storm. He was really into the coloring, but not so much into the story. Manirou's next checkup is in about two weeks, so he'll probably stay here (along with his mom and little brother) until then - pray that in the meantime his heart would be touched by what he hears and sees.
Manirou looks like he's ready for another week! Even though he technically doesn't need to be here until his next check-up in a month, he's continuing to heal here while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. This morning he and some other guesthouse kids all took turns having their picture taken with their walkers lifted to the sky. Even this small act marks a huge change in Manirou's life - before, kids from his village would take turns trying to knock him over - his legs were so unsteady he couldn't even stand. But now, Manirou's able to not only stand, but balance a walker on top of his head too -and his friends aren't trying to knock him over, they're waiting for their turn to try out his stunt!
This morning we found Manirou chilling and playing with a piece of string. Manirou likes to entertain himself when there is not much happening at the guesthouse. He's invented a secret game that he and the guesthouse kids play together, and no matter how much we asked, he wouldn't tell us what it was! One thing we know for sure is it's not arm wrestling - that's the one game not allowed at the guesthouse. "It's too bad," he told us, "Because I always win."
"I like face painting," Manirou told us in art therapy. He sat patiently while his friend Abdou painted on dozens of turquoise dots, trusting that he was in good hands. But when he saw the finished result he was pretty sure he wanted a better make-up artist "Your face looks better than mine," he told Abdou, "Why didn't you do a better job?" The point of the exercise was to help our patients work together more, and it seemed to have half-way worked - we hope that Manirou and Abdou had fun and learned a little something along the way!
"My new shirt looks so cool!" said Manirou after posing for a photo - this morning he and the other guesthouse patients were given clothes and they are sooo excited! Many people in remote places in Niger have maybe three or four pairs of clothes, so receiving a new outfit is like the most exciting thing ever!
Today Manirou came to us holding his brother Ganinou's hand. He explained to us that his mother is off to the CURE Niger patient gardens - "I have to take care of him before she comes back," he said, "I am so happy my brother could be here [at CURE NIGER] with me!" We know he's serious, because this whole morning Manirou never left Ganinou's side.
Today Manirou and Abdou teamed up to draw...their bandages! They were tasked with creating a piece of art from their experience here at CURE Niger and they did a great job. "We liked working together!" they said during the debrief!
Today Emanuel from our spiritual team prayed with our longterm patients, asking God to bring them towards His true light and fill their hearts with joy and peace - everyone was listening attentively, eyes closed ... except for Manirou and his little brother! But even if he wasn't listening today, we know that something is changing inside him - "There was a time I hated all my friends because they made fun of me [about my legs]," he told us, "But now I've forgiven them.”
Before, Manirou used to be cheap entertainment for kids in his village - they would take advantage of his unstable legs to try to knock him off balance. But now, he and his friends here at CURE Niger aren't using each other for entertainment ... they're creating entertainment together! After art therapy they made up their own song and dance for the camera - they have an impressive ability to repeat the same few lines for...a lot longer than you would except, and they never seem to get bored of it!
“The first thing I’m going to do when I get home is teach all my friends everything I’ve learned here [at CURE Niger],” says Manirou. That might include this dance the kids made up - it basically involves swinging your arms wildly while screaming at the top of your lungs, which is a good way for our patients to get out some of their extra energy! Manirou’s never been to school because his parents can’t afford it and it’s outside his village. Even if they did have the money, he could never have made it there with his bent legs. But here at CURE Niger, he’s learning lot of things - he’s learning new games, he's learning how to draw, and he's hearing lots and lots of Bible stories!
"Take my picture! Take my picture!" Manirou insisted. He likes seeing himself on camera, and usually throws up his signature peace sign. After he got over having his picture taken, he started the art therapy assignment: drawing an answered prayer - "It's all about my leg," he told Salamatou from our spiritual team. "It's an answered prayer that we had enough money to come here, that we were able to come here, and that I could get surgery for it," he says. "There's really no other prayer I could think of."
The doctor ordered a new cast for Manirou! Sodogas, our Physical Therapist just finished putting it on, and in six weeks Manirou will back for another check up. So far he's making good progress, and it's quite remarkable to see how much surgery has done - his right leg remains arched and immobile, but his left leg is almost perfectly straight. We pray that soon Manirou will be able to undergo the second surgery, but in order for this to happen COVID-19 needs to become much less of a threat and key medical personnel need to travel from the US to Niger - no one has control over these factors, but God does - pray that things would work out in His perfect timing.
"I did everything to bring him back in time for his next appointment," says Manirou's mom Kadi Issa. "We need to make sure nothing had gone wrong," she continues. Manirou had quite an extensive surgery on his leg and he's been in the same cast since he left in early March - Kadi Issa was right to want to bring him back in time. Even so, it was a big undertaking - she paid more than double the usual price for the 6+ hour trip - but now Manirou, his mom and his younger brother are here and ready to see the doctor tomorrow - pray for good news!
Our friend Manirou is out of the hospital! He and his mom were able to go home over the weekend. We missed saying goodbye to him. Good thing he'll be back in about three weeks for his next check-up! Please keep him in your prayers as he heals.
Manirou is a very thoughtful little man - during Art Therapy this week he remembered everyone's turn to bowl, even the little kid everyone forgot about in the back. Earlier in the morning, we saw Manirou sitting by the physical therapist's office - we asked him what was going on and how he was doing. "I'm good - I'm just waiting to get a new cast" he said, almost bored - we know he's been improving lately because he's been racing other patients on his walker! The doctor confirmed he is getting better, and will see him again in three weeks - Please continue to pray for him as he fully recovers.
This week's art therapy lesson was about patience and bubbles - to blow a good bubble you must be measured, steady, and attentive - too fast at first and you get soap suds exploding everywhere, too slow at the end and your bubble never develops. This is a bit like Manirou's healing process - even though it might be agonizing, recovering from his surgery requires patience and faith. During the session, Manirou paid so much attention, and when it was finally his turn to blow a bubble he was careful to hold the wand and the soap just so as to not spill - it looks like he enjoyed the fruit of his patience.
Manirou and some other patients in our guesthouse listened to a story about Jesus this week - the idea was that Jesus loves kids, even though the society in his day saw them as a nuisance. Manirou looks like he's listening intently - in his society it isn't just adults that pushed him out, it was kids too. We're so glad that he can hear about the love of God here even as he experiences the love of community!
Now that Manirou's been in our guesthouse recovering for about two weeks, he knows the hospital grounds pretty well! He's been practicing and is now able to get around quite well with his walker, and he's always got a smile for us. We pray he'll keep getting stronger and stronger!
“I was excited because I got to make crafts - we don’t learn to do that in our village, so I really enjoyed it!” Manirou told us after the latest art therapy session here at CURE Niger. This week’s session was designed to help kids process how accepted they feel in their community. Before his surgery, Manirou was excluded because of his crooked legs, but now it looks like no one’s left out of the circle!
Two cool things happened today: 1) We were able to give Manirou an instant photo of himself. He was enthralled watching it slowly develop in front of him! and 2) Manirou has been discharged! He had a little session with our physical therapist about how to walk with his walker and then he was set free. Since his home is a long way away from the hospital, he'll be staying at our guesthouse as he goes through this healing process with us!
This young man had a nice weekend of recovering and is doing great today! He gave us a little of our own medicine as he was taking our photo with his mom's camera phone. He and his mom are hoping they'll be discharged soon and we're hoping so too because the ward can be a little boring just laying around!
Manirou's surgery was a big one which means he's at the start of a pretty rough recovery process. Our CURE Niger nurses are taking good care of him and helping him manage the pain, but it's not fun. Please be praying for strength and perseverance for this young man!
Dr Henri and Dr Anthony opted to work on Manirou's left leg first. Since the curves in his bone were all over they place, the doctors opted to cut his bone into a few different pieces and then reconstruct one straight bone from these pieces. Kind of like a puzzle. Once his leg below his knee was straight, the doctors had to then release some of the tension on Manirou's hamstring in order to allow his leg to operate with the new straight bone. It was a pretty big and intense surgery, but this young man handled it like a champion!
After a years of thinking there was no hope of healing, Manirou is here at CURE Niger to get his legs straightened out! He has adjusted well to the hospital and claims he isn't at all afraid as he gets ready to go into the OR for his surgery. Even though he says this, please still be praying for this little man!
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