First, we have Andre. Andre’s thigh bones are bowed, rather than straight, so he has a hard time running or walking long distances, and his growth is stunted. We think that perhaps nutritional deficiency when he was younger precipitated this problem. Andre is now 7 years old.
Second, we have Espoire. Espoire is currently in the first year of secondary school, and is 13 years old. His right leg is permanently bent at about a 30 degree angle, so he walks with a crutch. It is not clear exactly what the cause is, but we think there was an accident at some point when he was younger without proper treatment or setting of the bone. Doctors at IMCK think that it probably will not be possible to recover movement in the knee, but that they might able to reduce the angle so that he could walk without a crutch.
And third, we have Dominique. Dominique had tuberculosis when he was younger, and it appears that it moved into and affected his spine. His spine is severely weakened, and he has a permanent hunch. It is hard for him to stand, let alone walk very far. We are not sure that his condition is operable, but are praying that something could be done, perhaps inserting a rod in the spine to give support. Dominique loves going to church, and has a gift for drawing. His father is living and has given approval for this surgery; he was chased away from home when he was accused of witchcraft by his uncle.
kids. For comparison, he and Serge (far right) are both 12 years old.
The final child is Macqui. A few years ago, when she was about 4 or 5, she was pushed down some stairs. She was seriously hurt, and from that time had trouble hearing. She has partial hearing in one ear, but can only hear someone speaking if they speak loudly directly into her ear. In a country with such minimal infrastructure like Congo, there are very few services or allowances for people with disabilities. This makes it difficult for her to learn or progress in school. A couple of doctors have examined her, but there is not an audiometer in our province that could do a proper hearing test. We are hopeful that she could be taken to Kinshasa soon, and assessed to determine what the problem is and whether hearing aids could help her.
There are several churches and individuals that gave financial contributions to make this medical visit possible. Medical Benevolence Foundation found the medical professionals, and is also providing coordination and funds for this visit. These medical professionals from CURE in Kenya are giving their vacation time to come to an underserved area. They will treat each of these kids, and also perform surgeries on other patients in need and provide instruction and example for other doctors at IMCK. We are very grateful to everyone involved for the part they play and know that God will continue to hear and answer our prayers for healing in these kids!