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When Shellah’s mother gave birth to her, she discovered her daughter’s legs were deformed. Terrified by the stigma of disability in Kenya, she cut the baby’s legs off and then abandoned her. Neighbors heard her crying and took her to a hospital saving her life.
Shellah was raised in an orphanage, which clothed and fed her but could not afford prosthetic legs. For 6 years, Shellah could not walk. That is when A Leg To Stand On found her and fitted her with her first set of prosthetic legs.
In just 10 years, A Leg To Stand On has provided prosthetic limbs, life-altering corrective surgery and physical therapy to more than 8,000 children like Shellah in the developing world.
“My dream is to become a doctor, to give children the same care and heart that was given to me.” – Seyha
Ten-year old Seyha lives what the majority of rural Cambodian’s would call an “average” childhood. Seyha’s parents, like most other families living on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, spend their days tending to rice and vegetable fields, earning just $2 per day.
When Seyha was four-years old, she was playing with other children near an abandoned factor next to her home. As Seyha was running, she tripped and fell on a rusty oil barrel which had been sawed in half. Deeply lacerating her calf muscle, Seyha was left in critical need for medical attention.
Because her family’s daily income is only $2, Seyha was taken to a local medicine man to mend her wounds with traditional ointments, herbs and banana leaves. Shortly after, Seyha’s condition began to deteriorate rapidly and her leg became infected with gangrene. As sepsis began to set in, the only remaining option was to amputate her leg.
Years following her accident, Seyha’s parents were still saving to afford a $250 prosthetic device that would enable Seyha to walk again and finally start school; 90% of disabled children in the developing world do not receive an education.
In 2011, ALTSO started to provide free orthopedic care to children in Cambodia and heard about Seyha’s story. Within three months, ALTSO had sourced funding to sponsor Seyha’s treatment until the age of 18 with free prosthetic limbs!
Today, Seyha is at the top of her class and extremely active and healthy. Every 3-4 months she receives a check-up and is refitted with a new prosthetic device as her body continues to grow.
Abdullah, a 14 year old boy from, Okara, Pakistan was diagnosed with Post Polio Residual Paralysis (PPRP) when he was 1 year old. This disease affected his right leg. After being admitted into ALTSO’s program just last month he was given a Knee-Ankle Foot Orthotic. Since Abdullah has had the orthotic, he has been able to walk with his friends.
Meet Christine, a ten year old girl from Kampala, Uganda. She had osteomyelitis, a bone infection, in her right arm. We quickly treated Christine with a sequestrectomy, corrective surgery to remove the dead or infected areas of the bone, before the infection spread to another part of her body. To stabilize her arm after surgery we provided Christine with an external fixation and physiotherapy to enable a quick and secure recovery.
Didik is an 18 year old boy from, Sleman, Indonesia. He suffered trauma at the age of 13, which caused his right leg deficiency. We provided Didik with a trans-tibial (TT) prosthetic and rehabilitation. It is because of your support and generosity that Didik was able to be treated.
Faith is a 5 year old girl from, Kampala, Uganda. At the age of 4 she experienced trauma to her right foot, which left her in need of corrective surgery. We treated her condition with an achilles tendon lengthening (ATL) and a plantar fasciotomy. It is because of your generosity that Faith will be able to participate in every day childhood activities.
Five year old Jaweda, from Kabul, Afghanistan recently suffered trauma that caused a bone fracture in her left leg. ALTSO provided Jaweda with a Hip Knee Ankle Foot Orthotic (HKAFO) that will allow her to be able to walk, without causing further harm to her leg while she recovers.
One year old Mujtaba, from Kabul, Afghanistan was born with Genu Valgum in his left leg. Genu Valgum, more commonly known as “knock-knee” is when a child’s knees are angled inward. We treated Mujtaba with an Ankle Foot Orthotic (AFO) that will help straighten his leg so that he will be able to walk normally free of pain.
Nine year old Rathana from Cambodia fractured his tibia when he was two, which led to amputation due to lack of proper care. With the help of your support, Rathana receives a new prosthetic device every 6-8 months.
Sara, from Kabul, Afghanistan is only 7 months old. She was born with developmental dysplasia of the hip (“DDH”). DDH is a congenital condition that causes Sara’s hip joint to dislodge out of place. As she grows, the condition would worsen, but ALTSO was notified of her case early on and was able to provide her with a Pavlik Harness. As per our mission, we will continue to treat Sara as she grows till the age of 18. Future check-ups will show us if further interventions will be needed for Sara’s condition.