The Mercy Ships orthopaedic ward is full of laughter and giggles of children who are amazed as they look in the mirror at their own straight legs. Some of the children arrived with severely knocked-knees; their legs made a definite “X’ shape as they did their best to stand up straight. Many of the other children had extremely bowed legs. Some of their legs were so bent you could easily pass a soccer ball between them. These are known by the medical team as ‘O’ legs. Remember, ‘X’s and ‘O’s at the foot of a letter indicate kisses and hugs.
After free and often complex surgeries, the children are provided with an extensive and affirming rehabilitation programme to help them to grow in confidence, relearning to walk, run and play.
Each morning after breakfast, these brave wee souls line the hospital hallway with their walkers to exercise their ‘new’ straight legs. The children’s remarkably speedy recovery is aided by this exercise, by a nutritional diet with supplements, and by our heartfelt prayers covering them all.
Since August 2016 when the Benin field service began, the Mercy Ships rehab teams have straightened kids legs through a total of nearly 10,000 degrees! That’s a lot of lovin’