One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the world is how to wait. We are all waiting in some capacity. Waiting for the virus numbers to decline, waiting for stores and business to reopen, waiting for travel restrictions to lift, waiting for medical treatment – the list goes on and on. In different ways, we can all understand the hopelessness that accompanies long periods of waiting.
Children with disabilities in underserved countries understand waiting all too well, and many feel hopeless that anything will change for them. Many children that eventually make it to CURE hospitals have been waiting for years to find treatment – treatment for their burns, broken bones, cleft lips, and clubfeet. The good news is that we can help them! We can restore their hope and lift their spirit.
One of these children is Yetbarket from Ethiopia. Like many children have done, he broke a bone while playing. What is different about Yetbarket’s story is that he waited six years before he received treatment, and his leg healed horribly wrong. While playing soccer with friends, Yetbarket tripped and broke his tibia, one of the bones beneath your knee. His family took him to a traditional healer in their area. When this did not result in any improvement for his leg, they began looking for medical alternatives. A former patient of CURE Ethiopia eventually met Yetbarek and convinced him to make the long journey to the CURE hospital. By this time, the way Yetbarek’s leg healed inhibited him from many normal daily activities, including playing soccer with his friends.
In June 2019, Yetbarek arrived at CURE Ethiopia for treatment. He had surgery shortly after he arrived and began the long healing process. Since his leg was so out of position, it was put into a frame, and periodic adjustments were made to get it back into the correct position. In September, Yetbarek was discharged to go home and heal from there. After some check-up appointments, he had is frame removed, and a cast was put on in December.
In February 2020, Yetbarek’s cast was removed. What a wonderful change to his leg and confidence! He is now in sixth grade and loves school. He already speaks two languages and was learning a third language while at CURE Ethiopia from the other children there. With his improved self-confidence, this bright young man is set up for a promising future!
Currently, there are more than 5,000 children with treatable disabilities on our waitlist in need of life-changing surgery. Together, with our CURE supporters, we are restoring hope to these children – hope that has been absent in some children for not months, but years!
COVID-19 has made it difficult, but not impossible to help these children. Please consider supporting a child’s surgery by clicking here or sending a get well message to a child in our hospitals right now.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” Corinthians 12:27
About CURE International
CURE International is a Christian nonprofit organization that operates a global network of pediatric surgical hospitals, which serve one of the world’s most marginalized and vulnerable populations – children with disabilities. Patients at CURE hospitals suffer from orthopedic, neurosurgical, and maxillofacial conditions that limit their mobility/functionality and opportunities for education and employment. In addition to world-class clinical service, CURE intentionally ministers to the emotional and spiritual needs of patients in its care and invests in training programs that aim to equip the next generation of health workers and strengthen national health care systems. Since inception, CURE has conducted more than 5.3 million patient visits and 330,000 surgical procedures around the world. For more information, visit https://cure.org/.