New legs and new shoes

Nawar was learning to walk again after a successful operation to straighten her bowed legs when physical therapist Michelle Pullen from South Africa noticed she was having trouble stepping smoothly with her left foot. In Michelle’s home country, she could have just ordered some prosthetic shoes for Nawar, but in Benin – West Africa there was nowhere she could get them made.

Nawar with ships Carpenter Michael Jones

Wanting to ensure her patient got the very best treatment Michelle spoke to Michael Jones from Australia, one of the ships carpenters, to see if he could help. He took Nawars left sandal and modified it to Michelle’s specifications. He then painted the sole black to match the other one, so you could hardly notice she was wearing an orthopaedic sandal.

Michael Jones – Carpenter on the hospital ship – Africa Mercy

Nawar just could not believe that Michael would go to all that trouble to help her, and she loved her new sandals. In fact, when she realised how much better she was able to walk on them, she came back the next day with two other pairs of shoes to ask Michael if he could also modify them. So even our carpenters sometimes get the opportunity, to directly help a patient. Of course, the huge smile on Nawar’s face was all the reward that Michael needed for the extra work!