December 17, 2004
Andrew is one of the most pleasant children to attend our Ndirande session on Tuesday afternoons. He is also one of the most deformed children I have ever laid eyes on. He has a hunched back and legs that are thin and misshaped. His pelvis is not formed correctly so he can’t walk on his own.
Last year the missionaries got him special crutches so that he can walk. He can now attend school. But we worry that his back may continue to get worse. A few weeks ago there was a notice in the paper that a group of back specialists from the USA were coming to the CURE Hospital here in Blantyre to operate, free of charge, on people with severe back problems. Wicka took Andrew and his mother to the hospital for a preliminary work-up. They said that Andrew was a perfect candidate, just what they were looking for!
We were very excited for Andrew, but unfortunately, his family was not.
When it came time for his final evaluation prior to surgery, he did not show up at the church where the missionaries were going to pick him up. It took the missionaries two hours of traveling the rutted roads through the slums of Ndirande to find out where he lived. It turns out that his father did not want him to have surgery. But the Scafsmas convinced the entire family to travel to the hospital to meet the doctors. Even grandma piled into the car.
The doctors took additional x-rays and conferred with the family and missionaries. Unfortunately, it was too dangerous to operate on Andrew’s spine.
They want him to come back to the Hospital in 6 months so they can examine his pelvis and see if an operation would help him walk better.
Needless to say, we were very sad to hear that there would be no back surgery, but Andrew smiles just as brightly, and says “Zikomo”(thank you) each week when we give him a craft project. He works diligently, and is very creative.
We hope and pray that something can be done to improve his physical condition. In the meantime, he improves our lives each time he smiles at us.