24 Jun Health and Wellness: Overcoming Obstacles in our Home
“For I will restore health to you, and I will heal you of your wounds, say the Lord.” – Jeremiah 30:17
At Children of Hope, we’re grateful for our community and extended family, the love that exists in each of the homes, and most importantly, the health and wellbeing of our children. Thanks to your continued support, God’s love, and the help of our aunties, uncles, and staff who provide care in our homes, we’re able to give our children access to the best healthcare and treatments available.
When we welcome children into our homes, we make it a point to do an initial doctor visit and assessment to understand the needs of our children as they enter our family. Two years ago, on May 30th, 2020, our Kitalale home welcomed three siblings, Bethsheba, Darian, and Gracious. Upon an initial assessment with our doctor, Bethsheba was diagnosed with stunted growth problems due to her severe malnourished state. Living in abject poverty after their mother’s death, Bethsheba and her two siblings, Darian and Gracious, were vulnerable and needed protection, love, and care. When the children’s department reached out to us at Children of Hope, we felt so blessed to be able to welcome them to our Kitalale family and provide them with a safe, nurturing home where they could thrive.
Over the next few months, we paid great attention to Bethsheba’s health and well-being. She started getting the nutrition her body needed and was more active than before. As Bethseba was settling into our home and getting stronger, we noticed a change in her walking style that became more prominent as she became more active – she would swing her body sideways with a slight sideways drift. Additionally, the shape of her foot was flat and was pronating onto her ankle bone, and we could see her having trouble while running. This is when we decided to get an orthopedic consult.
Orthopedic Support and Expert Care for Our Children
By reaching out to our orthopedic doctor in Nairobi that we use for our Kikuyu home, we were blessed to be connected with one of his colleagues who worked about an hour and a half away from our Kitalale home, giving us quick access to a specialized doctor for Bethsheba.
The orthopedic doctor confirmed that Bethsheba was born with an extreme flatfoot deformity with severe over-pronation affecting both of her legs. After closely examining her feet, the doctor ruled out surgery and recommended designing a specialized foot orthotic for Bethsheba to wear with a particular shoe. The orthotics were built into boots to mimic the desired foot-arch for Bethsheba. The doctor continues to monitor Bethsheba closely and will adjust the orthotics as needed. We’re praying and hoping for improvement for Bethsheba.
Understanding Healthcare and Specialized Treatments in Kenya
One of the reasons why many individuals in Kenya continue to live their lives with deformities is because of their lack of knowledge about specialized medical care. It is very important to catch these issues early on and seek out the care they need to improve their life. Initially, our staff at Kitalale thought of Bethsheba’s condition as genetic makeup, but upon the doctor’s consultation, came to understand that it was a diagnosed medical condition that could be fixed with the right treatment plan.
This is why it is critical to get the right doctor for the right treatment. In many parts of Africa, the general public is still not aware of birth deformities and other medical conditions that can be addressed early on with the right diagnosis and treatment plan. In most cases, especially involving orthopedic medical care, many people think that it is something you’re born with and that nothing can be done to improve or correct it. They simply learn to live with it.
This is why at Children of Hope, we pay close attention to our staff, children, and the community around us, and try to raise awareness about orthopedic issues, and how they could be treated. With God’s grace, love, and the eagerness of our community to know more about medical treatments, it has been a powerful learning experience for all.
The Importance of Detecting Challenges Early-On
We feel so blessed to have your support to continue to provide for our children, especially under such special circumstances.
At Children of Hope, we continue to turn to God for guidance and support, and ask you to pray with us for our children so that they grow to thrive and achieve their God-given potential. Help us in praying for our Kenyan community to get access to information and seek out specialized medical care.
It is because of all our prayers and support that Bethsheba is doing well, and that we were able to identify the same issue with her younger sibling, Darian. With specialized physical therapy, medical care, and foot orthotics, they will both be able to walk normally.
Bethsheba, Darian, and Gracious
Since their medical diagnosis and treatment, Bethsheba and Darian have been doing very well. Darian was also diagnosed with being on the autism spectrum a while ago and is making great progress with his development. He’s been receiving special ABA therapy for the past two weeks. We’re excited to share updates with you about how the three siblings, Bethsheda, Darian, and Gracious, continue to grow and make strides in our Kitalale home.
How time flies at our homes. It feels like just yesterday when we welcomed the three siblings into our home. Darian, now 7 years old, is growing quickly and recently started school. He was so excited to wear his school uniform and join the rest of the children in their daily school-bus commute.
Gracious has been achieving all her developmental milestones at the young age of two. She can make three-word sentences and is able to communicate using a few words. While the rest of the children are in school, Gracious gets all the attention, love, and care from our aunties and uncles.
Our children have big dreams, and they can grow into them with a healthy body and mind. Getting to watch them overcome their health challenges and thrive in our homes is an incredible blessing. We are eternally thankful for all your love, support, and generous gifts. If you would like to continue to help transform our kids through the power of good health, make a donation to our general fund here.