Transforming lives in Ethiopia

Transformational surgery for three siblings

Reading time: 2 min

Ebise, Gemeda and Mergitu find confidence after leg deformities threaten to curb their ambitions.

“Ebise and Gemeda want to become teachers and Mergitu wants to become a doctor.”

Ebise and Mergitu were both born with clubfoot on both legs. Their brother Gemeda felt fortunate he was born with only one leg deformity. Their father passed away five years ago. After his death, the responsibility to take care of the children and farm was left to their mother Jije. The money that they get from the land is the only means of income for this family.

When their first child Ebise was born with clubfoot, Nemomsa and Jije took her to the nearest hospital for treatment. The doctors could not help Ebise. Frustrated, the parents gave up and chose not to take the rest of their children to hospital. They believed it was the result of bad luck – a curse from God. It was a view shared by their community. Despite this negative attitude towards their children’s conditions, Jije and her husband did not keep their children at home. Believing that education is a stepping stone for everything, they sent the children to school.

Corrective surgery

An outreach teams working for our partner, Cheshire Services, were introduced to the siblings when they attended their local outreach centre. The team made their assessments and admitted all three siblings for corrective surgery. They received rehabilitative care that was not just physical, but also psychosocial.

Now, with the help of Cheshire’s experienced team, the siblings have become more confident, and are keen to play with the rest of the children. They are eager to see their legs completely corrected, and no longer believe that they are the only people living with deformity. The education and training they receive at the centre gives them hope that they can learn like every other child in their community.

Excited for the future

Gemeda has had his leg and foot corrected, Ebise is fitted with a supportive crutch and Mergitu is about to face her final surgical procedure. The siblings are so happy with everything that has been done for them. They are excited for the future: Ebise and Gemeda want to become teachers and Mergitu wants to become a doctor.

With your donations, Cheshire Services can help more children like Ebise, Gemeda and Mergitu rewrite their future.

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