Like many mothers, Janet is a concerned parent. Though, her story is a bit different than most. Janet has two kids with disabilities – Geofrey and Moses. Geofrey is a one-year-old boy with bilateral clubfoot, and Moses is an active three-year-old boy with a rare condition called genu recurvatum (backward-bending knee).
Most parents that come to CURE Zambia have one child they are tending to in the hospital and that alone is a challenge. Janet tends to two very young children with disabilities in the ward.
As you try to imagine what she must be going through, your thoughts are taken over by compassion for her boys once you see Moses move. When Moses walked, it was hard to ignore. For Moses to move, both his legs and hands had to touch the ground, and when he sat, his legs faced upward. The condition of Moses’ legs did not keep him immobile though. He is a very active boy, moving around, exploring, and constantly searching for objects to play with.
Janet has three kids. Her firstborn does not have a disability, but having two kids with disabilities has been tough on her, resulting in Geofrey and Moses’ father leaving the family. “Others mock me…when I was still married, some were saying you should divorce – even their father joined in these talks, and eventually we went separate ways.” After her second child with a disability was born, her husband at the time told her, “You will never give birth to a child who will be able to even go and draw water.”
With the ridicule Janet faced from her marriage and members of the community, and raising kids with disabilities that she didn’t know how to address, Janet lost hope. This impacted her financially as well. She is unable to do any form of work because her children needed her constant attention. She depended on the church and well-wishers for survival.
CURE Zambia conducted a mobile clinic near Janet’s home, but she heard the news too late and the team had already left. Thankfully, the people at the hospital where the mobile clinic was held contacted us and sent photos of Moses. Through them, arrangements were made for Janet and her boys to travel to CURE Zambia. They made it to the hospital, and Dr. Moyo performed corrective surgery on both Moses and Geofrey. They are all healing well! This has excited Janet and renewed her hope. “I really never had hope that this one (Moses) would be healed. I am happy now that his legs are like this, and he is able to sit properly. I am very thankful to everyone who has participated in helping my kids,” Janet relayed. The daily prayers and devotion in our ward, preoperative counseling, and prayers for patients and parents have helped Janet heal emotionally. There is still hope, and thankfully, Janet and her kids have found that hope in the love of God that has been shared with her at CURE Zambia.
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About the Beit-CURE Children’s Hospital of Zambia
Established in 2006, CURE Zambia performs over 2,500 life-changing reconstructive, orthopedic, ENT, and audiological surgeries each year for children suffering from treatable disabilities. Strategically located in Lusaka, the teaching hospital comprises six buildings, 54 beds, and three operating theatres. In addition to world-class clinical service, CURE Zambia ministers to the emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their communities. The Beit Trust, a UK-based charity, provided the funding for this facility as a centennial gift to the people of Zambia. CURE Zambia is a strategic partner with the Ministry of Health.