Interesting cases and children with personality make my week each and every week I continue to live in Malawi.
These past few weeks have been no different. I thought I would share a few of them with you as I acknowledge that I could never go back to a 'normal' clinical position again!
Firstly a young girl of 12 had Van Ness surgery or rotationplasty. This surgery is usually performed when the individual has had a tumour of the lower leg. The ankle and foot are then reattached backwards so that there is a more functional knee joint. My mind took a while to get around this one!
Another child comes in every 4-6months (sometimes earlier) for bilateral symes (through ankle) prosthetics. He had the amputation as a toddler and is the most active little boy we have seen. It is great to see his prosthetics getting so much use.
We have seen multiple burns these last few weeks too. Some as a result of chintenji (or cloth) catching on fire whilst they are burning their maize, others from candles being left on in the house, others as a result of having epilepsy and falling in the fire.
Each day something new, interesting but most of all inspiring. The challenges many of these individuals and their families face in their communities, we in the Western world can't even contemplate.
As I quickly approach my birthday this week I reflect on the opportunities I have had in these last 12 months. I would never thought I would have this opportunity to do what I'm doing and I'm so very grateful. This is definitely an experience I will be talking about til I take my last breath. Even the small things like learning the language and the culture and being able to share these experiences with my very inquisitive nieces. Sharing some basic greetings and food stories (some I'd like to forget about) gets me thinking about the life I have chosen to create and how many more experiences are yet to come and to share! Bring it on!