Today was a very busy day. The doctors from Cure Hospital and Kijabe Mission Hospital came to Kitale for a clinic. They send out their doctors who are specialized in spinal and orthopedic deformities as well as specialists in Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida to assess the children in rural areas. Not only is it convenient that they save us an eight hour drive, but they also make it possible for many children to have access to a higher quality of medical care. Since the last clinic, we have visited several children whose parents we told to come meet us at the clinic, which is the perfect way to find out where to begin helping a child and get a diagnoses. Sometimes at the clinic they will send you over to get special braces and other times they will refer the child for surgery. Today we took Junior, Lavender, Jabal and Quinta to be assessed by the doctors.
In the beginning of October we took Junior to Kijabe to get his shunt checked after he had several seizures. The doctors told us that it looked like his shunt had disconnected a while ago and that his Hydrocephalus was inactive .They started him on an anti seizure medication that’s been working great. Today we went for a follow up and they told us to continue with the medication because it is working as it should.
Jabal has been to Kijabe for operations two times this year to have tumors removed from both his elbows and his foot. He was diagnosed with Tumoral Calcinosis (there is no medication that will prevent the tumors and the only treatment is to have them removed when they appear) and has a new tumor starting to grow on his knee. Once the tumors grow larger they begin to cause him pain. The doctor told us that since right now the mass is not causing him pain they want to wait a while before they will do another surgery.
Quinta’s left foot is stuck in a pointed down position, which makes walking difficult. The doctors said that they can do a surgery to correct the deformity and hopefully make walking little easier for her. We are planning on booking the surgery early next year after we settle into the new facility and there is a little more space for her to rest while she is healing.
We brought Lavender along to see if there would be any braces that would help her with her movements or give her a little extra support to sit up straight. The doctor told us that we need to focus on physical therapy because her limbs are very stiff. Lavender recently came back to PKC after almost a year of being back at home with her family and was not getting physical therapy during that time, so we are hoping that since she is back with us and will start receiving therapy again on a regular basis that she will start making improvements.
Not only did we come with those four children from the house, but we also had five other children that PKC supports from their homes come to be assessed. We had quite a large group show up to meet us today.
I met Bregys at an eye clinic last year and then saw her mother at the next Kijabe clinic. She has cerebral palsy and recently had an operation to give her more range of motion in her left thumb. She still needs an operation to straighten out her fingers and to loosen up her knee joint. Her mother loves her dearly and never fails to miss a clinic, but struggles to come up with the extra funds to be able to afford all of the surgeries that her daughter needs. Bregys has a great smile, walks around the clinic like owns the place and doesn’t let her challenges hold her back.
We also met Joshua and Limo there. We had visited their mother a few months back and told her that we would start by having two of her three boys come to the clinic. Limo and Joshua both have a form of neuropathy that causes them to have both physical and mental impairments that continue to become more severe over time. Both of them need operations to loosen up their knees to allow them to straighten out. Limo has about a 90 degree range of motion in both knees and gets around by crouching down and using his hands for balance. Joshua can walk, but his knees cannot straighten out all the way. The doctors said that he needs the same operation as Limo and are afraid that if it goes uncorrected he will continue to lose range of motion like Limo did. Their mother is great and loves her boys and takes such good care of them.
Meshack was born with Spina Bifida and his mother was able to get the funds to get him the operation to correct his spine. He has limited movement and sensation in his legs, but the doctor said that if they do an operation to loosen up his ankle joints so that he can step correctly that braces can be made for his legs and hopefully he can learn to walk with crutches. He will be heading to Kijabe with his mother on December 6th to have the operation.
Yesterday, we went to pick up Bramwel after he spent some time at home with his mom and she brought us to meet Do. He has CTEV (club foot) on only his left foot and can still walk on his own, but also needs an operation to make it easier for him to walk. His mother is struggling to raise seven children on her own and in the area where they live is struggling to find a job that pays enough to provide for her family.
The clinic ran long and Jabal, Junior, Lavender and Quinta were so patient that we surprised them with lunch in town. They all enjoyed their chicken and French fries.
When we got back to the kids house we found Gracie and her mother waiting for us. They had been at the house the whole day and we thought that they were going to meet us at the clinic. So I loaded them up in the car and we rushed back to see if the doctors were still there.
Luckily, they were still packing things up and one of the doctors came to look at Gracie’s back. He told us that she has Scoliosis and that right now there is nothing that they can do to correct it. They told us to take her to a pediatrician to get a check up because commonly children with spinal deformities may have problems with their internal organs. He also told us that we should look out for signs of nerve damage (like loss of bladder control, numbness in her lower extremities, breathing difficulties or a drastic change of gait) and to bring her back for an operation immediately if we noticed a change. If none of these problems occur he said that she could come yearly to the clinic to check her progress and that when she is older and is done growing that they will do an operation to straighten out her spine. Gracie is a sweet little girl with the best smile (more updates on her coming soon!).
It was a busy day, but it was a good one. It was great to see all of these parents that took the time to bring their children to the clinic and also good to see all these sweet little faces again. Please pray for these families as they continue to do their best to meet their children’s unique needs.