January 11, 2005
Priscilla has no legs. There are stumps where they should be. She was born that way. The missionaries who run the Ndirande “Club,” had her fitted for prostheses last year, and now her mother can strap her “legs” (complete with multicolored sneakers) on and she can get around in an upright position with the help of crutches. Not long ago a technician came to our Ndirande session to adjust her crutches. She is a growing girl!
When she is not wearing her legs, Priscilla scoots around the room on her hands. She prefers very feminine clothing, with lots of lace and ribbons. Her dresses are always clean, though tattered. Her mother, who always accompanies her, is dressed in the same manner with carefully coiffed hair. But the missionaries are worried about her health. She appears wan and tired. Caring for Priscilla really saps her energy, and makes her vulnerable to a plethora of ills. We will monitor her condition carefully.
Priscilla likes to draw and is very fond of crayons. We made sure that for Christmas, she received a set of colored pencils in her gift bag. Like everyone else, her family also got a bag of maize. She was so happy that she sat on it!
Priscilla is now able to go to school with the other children, but despite her prostheses, she will never have a “normal” life here in Malawi. However, each week, when she arrives for Club, she knows that there are people who care for her.