Hussen from Burundi

Hussen’s parents might be young, but they’ve proven to have wisdom beyond their years. When their son was born with clubfoot, they accepted him exactly as he was—a rarity in places like Burundi, where traditional beliefs still run strong. Even though they loved their son unconditionally, they were relieved to hear that treatment was available so that Hussen could live his life free from disability.

The Ponseti treatment process for clubfoot is simple and effective, but it does require consistency and a long-term commitment from caregivers. In the early stages, weekly casting appointments are essential to gradually train the foot into a new, corrected position. After that, regular follow-up appointments are needed to ensure the foot maintains its correction.

This was a daunting prospect for Hussen’s parents. They are farmers who live on a very small plot of land 60 kilometers from the nearest treatment facility. The idea of traveling 60 kilometers, one way, on a regular basis was overwhelming. They simply didn’t have the resources they needed for transportation.

And yet, in pursuit of a better life for their son, they decided to take on the challenge together. They travel to each of Hussen’s appointments together—a journey that takes an entire day, most of which is spent walking.

It didn’t take long for them to see the fruit of their labor. Now in the bracing stage of treatment, Hussen is well on his way to healing. He’ll learn to walk on two straight feet without any memory of having clubfoot—a future his parents likely hoped for with every step they took together along the way.

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