Chira in Rwanda

Finding treatment early dramatically increases the chance of successfully correcting a child’s feet born with clubfoot. Ideally, treatment starts within a few weeks or even days of birth. Medical professionals can completely straighten the feet within several weeks to a few months. Midwives informed Jacqueline about this when her daughter Chira was born with clubfoot, but even with this knowledge, she was scared and ashamed. 

After a few months of hiding Chira, Jacqueline took her to a clinic for vaccinations. There, she met another mom whose child was wearing braces. Jacqueline asked why her child was wearing braces, and then she showed Chira’s feet for the first time. Then, she truly understood what the midwife explained when her child was born.

There is an urgency with clubfoot treatment. As the child gets older and the feet grow, they become less malleable, which means casting may take longer or be less effective. Expensive and invasive surgery may also be required. Fortunately, Jacqueline and her husband Charles connected with a Hope Walks partner clinic early. 

Jacqueline said finding a trusted person to share your burdens with is a gift. But finding that person in their parent advisor who can share the burdens and help them through it was a surprise. 

“My husband and I received counseling sessions and education about clubfoot, and even benefited from words of God for free,” Jacqueline said. “Parent advisors brought us together in a parents support group where everyone can express their feelings freely; our hearts are full of joy and praises.”

Seeing her little girl stand and run on straight feet today as a toddler makes Jacqueline and Charles very happy. The thought of Chira as a teenager or young adult with feet twisted by clubfoot is unbearable to them. Fortunately, that vision won’t come to pass, thanks to Chira’s current healing journey with donor support.

Watch her family’s story below.