There's been some exciting news going on around Huruma Special Unit lately. But it's not over yet, and we sure could use your help, especially your prayers.
You may remember the girl pictured above, Helena, from a previous blog about prayers for a good place for her to be included with her non-disabled peers. You see, according to Dr. Bob Thompson, a good friend back home and the first person I went to about this condition, Helena's only disability is that her tibia and right femur are so bowed that she cannot walk on her own. It's a very rare condition called congenital pseudoarthrosis of the tibia. Helena's faith filled family had pursued treatment before, and one of the legs has been operated on, but one of the doctors died and the other returned to America to do research before the treatment was finished.
A couple weeks ago, Caitlin and I were visiting our friends Frank and Karen (two missionaries from North Carolina living in Bukoba across Lake Victoria). We went with them as they were helping a little girl living in a village get treatment for her clubbed foot. While the doctor was making his final inspection of the casting, I quickly showed him Helena's picture and asked if he knew anyone who could help her. One name led to another and soon I was emailing a Tanzanian doctor named Doctor Isidor and his mentor, Dr. Shaefer from Wisconsin. Dr. Isidor informed me that Dr. Shaefer would be coming on the 20th and that they might be able to do an operation.
We brought Helena into the regional hospital here in Mwanza, Bugando Hospital, for x-rays, blood work and an ultrasound and Dr. Isidor says she meets the criteria. The next step comes next Sunday when Caitlin, myself, Helena's mother Happiness and Helena will make the boat trip over to Bukoba for the operation.
How can you help? Most importantly, pray for Helena and her family. Dr. Isidor has said that the treatment is very difficult and takes a very long time. It involves breaking her shins and femur up into pieces and repining it back together. Fortunately, Dr. Shaefer has done this type of operation before and Dr. Isidor sounds very confident (Dr. Isidor didn't mention whether he had also). The healing from the operation will take a very long time, and even though I am pretty certain Dr. Shaefer is doing his work free, many of the tools and materials used will cost money.
I have appreciated how the family has come forth so far and paid as much as they could for the different tests we have already done. Although the family has some means, this operation is certainly going to be a burden for them, emotionally as well as financially. Fortunately, the local parish, Pasiansi (where Huruma has a classroom and Helena goes to school) has offered to pay half of the medical bills. Can we pick up the second half?
Helena and her family live halfway up a large hill in a small but well built 150 square foot house. For now, every day one of her family members carries her up and down the three flights of stairs to get to school. Someday however she will be to big to carry. Please join with me in prayer that this operation goes well so that some day Helena will be able to walk up and down these stairs herself. If you would like to help the family with some of the medical bills, please go to mklm.org/Rossers and be sure to write, "For the mission account of David Rosser- Helena" in the comments section.