This smiling girl is Epifania, a 12-year-old student who was born with spina bifida. Epifania was treated for her congenital defect as an infant to close the opening in her spine but she to this day has sensory deficits in her lower limbs.
Epifania lives with her parents and three siblings in Tanzania, where her father keeps livestock and does small scale crop farming. Her mother died when she was small, but her father remarried, and her parents both want Epifania to be healthy.
Epifania has a wound on her foot caused by walking in ill-fitting footwear. Epifania needs better fitting shoes and braces, but first needs an operation to properly treat her wounds.
Her father brought her to our hospital when the wound on her foot became so bad that she was unable to walk at all. The wound is not able to heal with dressings alone and requires tissue removal and skin grafting. The nursing team has educated Epifania on how to care for herself to prevent this from occurring again.
With $780, Epifania will receive the education and surgery she needs to walk without pain and risk of further injury. She says, “I would like my foot to be better so that I can go home and continue at school with my friends.”