Emmanuel has bow legs and is standing holding against a door frame.

“I want my legs to be healed. In the future, I want to be a doctor,” Emmanuel said.

7-year-old Emmanuel has bowlegs, which caused him to sway from side to side as he moved, putting immense pressure on his joints and causing unbearable pain. But thanks to CBM’s supporters, Emmanuel was able to have the corrective surgery to help straighten his legs.

For children like Emmanuel, bowlegs mean constant pain, difficulty walking, and often bullying. “There are pupils who tease me on the way to school,” he says. “There is one boy who beats me because I have bowed legs. That makes me sad. I wish he also had bowlegs, to know what it’s like. I want my legs to be healed. I know they can be straightened. In future I want to be a doctor, to treat wounded soldiers.”

When other children treat Emmanuel unfairly, his mother shares his pain, “I feel sad when I hear people saying that I should have taken Emmanuel to the hospital much earlier. They don’t know that I tried several times but just couldn’t find help. I know that if he remains like this, his future will be difficult. I ask myself what he will do if I am not here anymore. He is a hardworking boy, but he cannot do much on his own.”

Emmanuel is desperate to run and play football with other children but it’s just too painful for him. “I like to play football, but I feel a lot of pain afterwards. I usually stop playing when the pain comes. When I run or carry something heavy, I feel pain in the knee joints.”

Thanks to CBM supporters, Emmanuel had corrective surgery at CBM-supported CoRSU hospital. During the procedure, Emmanuel was fitted with an external fixator that he will wear for the next 30 days to help strengthen the bones into the correct position. The surgery took just over 2 hours and his mother Agnes was so worried for her son during this time, “I was so scared. I could not eat. I was nervous. When they called me to see him in the recovery room, the first thing I did was to call his name to see if he would respond. I was scared that he would die in theatre.”

It has now been over a month since Emmanuel’s operation and CBM-supported Community Based Rehabilitation worker, Agnes, pays him a surprise visit at home. Emmanuel sees her from afar and runs towards her with a big smile on his face, crutches in hand.

When Emmanuel’s legs are healed and he is able to walk without assistance, he will go back to school and pursue his dreams of becoming a doctor.


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