Kossi Walks In for a Mercy Ships Follow-Up Visit

Kossi demonstrates his foot and leg strength and range of movement.
Kossi demonstrates his foot and leg strength and range of movement.
A Mercy Ships physiotherapist examines the results of Kossi’s surgery now at the two year post-operative mark.
A Mercy Ships physiotherapist examines the results of Kossi’s surgery now at the two year post-operative mark.

Mercy Ships provided some 1200 free surgeries to the people of Togo during our 2012 field service. Patients from the previous 2010 field service were also invited onboard for a free follow-up consultation.

Accompanied by his mother, Akouwa, three-year old Kossi walked confidently into the consultation tent with a huge smile that portrayed delight in his transformation.

Born with a clubfoot, the inward growth of Kossi’s foot forced him to learn to walk on the sides of his feet. Walking was painful and awkward.

Despite being a doctor, Kossi’s father, Dr. Fantche Awokou, could do nothing to help his son as no doctors in Togo could provide the treatment necessary to straighten his clubfoot.

In 2010, Kossi was the first patient in West Africa to take part in a clubfoot repair technique known as the Ponseti Management Program, developed by Dr. Ignacio Ponseti over 50 years ago.

After a series of weekly casts to gently manipulate the foot to a more normal position, only minor surgery was required to lengthen the tendon. Foot braces and exercises would be used over a four-year period to maintain the alignment.

„People have witnessed a miracle change in Kossi. Now everyone believes that our Kossi can one day be what we hope for him,“ his mother declared.

 

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