My name is Sandrine and I live in Madagascar. My baby daughter Serah was born with a common birth defect know as clubfeet. At the time, I thought she was going to be disabled for life, and face rejection by many who would cross her path. I knew I could never afford to pay for a surgery to fix her legs. I wrapped her legs in a cloth and did not look at them again for 3 days.
A few days after Serah was born the midwife told me about a medical ship that had been in Madagascar for a whole year and was soon to return. She told me about a clinic they had set up to help babies like Serah. Then she told me they would treat her for free! I could not believe it. So I took her to see the doctors after the ship arrived and they told me they could help her and they gave me an appointment card to treat here when she was 7 months old.
For six weeks, I took her to the Ponseti clinic where the physiotherapist would bend her feet outwards and then put them in a plaster cast to hold them in that position. Then the following week I would put her in a tub of water to soak the old cast off and then they would bend her legs some more and put another cast on.
When the sixth cast was removed, the surgeon then cut her Achilles tendons slightly, to let her feet turn into their normal position. Then they gave me a set of braces that Serah needed to wear for 3 months to keep her feet in the new position and complete the process.
Then they gave us a new set of leg braces which they told us must be put on Serah’s feet every night until she is four or five years old. They explained to us that this last step is very important to make sure Serah’s feet don’t start turning in again. It is a lot of work but I am so happy to do it. I am now happy again to see how my little girl’s legs and now straight and I am able to dream of a bright future for my child. Thank you Mercy Ships and that all of you who support their work!