We hoped to be able to treat 100 children in 2 weeks, a lofty and perhaps impossible ambition. We actually saw 110 children with gluteal fibrosis and 2 others receive their much needed surgery, all accomplished by our Ugandan surgical team. Since each child needed both hips operated, that’s 220 individual surgeries!
We were privileged to assist and support them, and, thanks to all our incredibly generous donors, we were able to pay all the associated hospital costs at Kumi Hospital.
The outreach team included three representatives from the Rebalance Legacy Society in Victoria, BC: orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Norgrove Penny, operating room nurse Mary-Lynn Hyndman, and media specialist Bethea Penny. We were in company with a team from California, led by paediatric orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Colleen Sabatini, who performed full clinical assessments on all the children in preparation for long term follow-up.
Fibrosis of the gluteal muscles, caused by quinine injections for malaria, causes severe hip and back pain, prevents children from sitting and squatting, and becomes a significant social and physical disability, often preventing them from going to school.
All the children did well after their surgery. It was exciting to see their motivation to do their important post-operative physiotherapy and appreciate dynamic gains in sitting and squatting function within 5 days of their surgery. They, their families, and the hospital were so appreciative of the support from Canada and the USA. Our team was so impressed by the bravery and resilience of these beautiful children.
Sadly, there are so many more children who need to be helped.
Let’s commit to work together to keep assisting children in this very needy part of the world.
We are so very grateful for all our donors and friends who made this outreach possible.
You have made a real, tangible difference in the lives of individual children in Kumi, Uganda, while also supporting this rural hospital and its hard working staff financially.
Now we are working to produce a video of our experience. Keep “your eyes peeled” on our website!