Five-year-old Silas lives with his parents and six siblings in Tanzania. He likes to run and jump and play with his toy cars.
“Silas’s legs started bowing outwards when he was two years old,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. “Slowly but surely, his gait has been badly affected by the condition. He quickly gets tired and easily falls down when running.”
Silas’s bowed legs—known as bilateral genu varum—are not painful, but the abnormal stress on his hips, knees, and ankles may lead to osteoarthritis of those joints. In addition, Silas will continue to be at risk for trips and falls.
Treatment for Silas is a surgical procedure known as an osteotomy. Doctors remove a wedge of bone from each of his lower leg bones and attach a metal plate and screws to close the gap and straighten the leg. Silas will wear casts on his legs while they heal.
Silas’s parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize and beans. Paying school fees for five of their children—in addition to providing for the family’s basic needs—has made it difficult for them to save enough money for the surgery that Silas needs.
$940 pays for Silas’ surgery as well as three days of hospital care, cast changes, physiotherapy, and a three-month-stay at The Plaster House for recovery and rehabilitation. After treatment, “Silas will have straight legs and the ability to walk properly,” says AMHF.
Silas’s parents look forward to a successful operation for their son. “We pray that our son’s legs will be straight to allow him to walk like other children,” they share.