A perfect Christmas gift for Gladys

When speaking with Gladys’s mother it is clear that her smiling daughter means everything to her. When the little social butterfly was born with a clubfoot, her mother did anything she could to try and get it fixed, but the local hospital told her there was no hope. “I felt like I was the only one fighting for my child,” recalls her mother, Jacqueline.

Gladys on the dock

Gladys still tried her best to keep up with friends, but it would become difficult when the other children would tease her, or move too quickly for her to keep up. It broke Jacqueline’s heart to see her child robbed of many of the joys of childhood because of her disability.

The family felt hopeless, until they heard about the hospital ship and the possibility for her to receive a free treatment. They attended a screening day and thanks to the generosity of Mercy Ships donors Gladys was able to begin her Ponseti treatment which involves a weekly visit to have a series of plaster casts applied to her leg to slowly straighten her foot.


The Ponseti process is virtually painless and either eliminates or greatly reduces the need for invasive surgery. Because of the severity of Gladys deformity she will need a final surgery to complete her Christmas gift of healing, but then she will have a fine pair of straight feet, to go with her big beautiful smile and outgoing personality.

We are so thankful to our donors who make delivering these incredible gifts possible!