It’s hard to believe that two boys who were born more than 12,000km apart would meet in Australia, become friends and undergo similar medical experiences together.
This is exactly what happened with Innocent and Trophimus!
Innocent is from Zambia. He sustained serious burns when he was a toddler, leaving him with a terribly deformed foot. When we met Innocent fourteen months ago, walking was painful and the burns contractures on his leg would have become worse as he grew.
Trophimus is from Ambasi in northern Papua New Guinea and has been with us for a year. The team from No Roads – Health met him on one of their medical missions into PNG. When Trophy arrived with the team at our Miracle sMiles Retreat he couldn’t walk without crutches. Tuberculosis had destroyed his hip resulting in one of his legs being 10cm shorter than the other.
Innocent had skin grafts with Mr Chris Coombs at Linacre Private Hospital and both boys underwent reconstructive orthopaedic surgery with Associate Professor Leo Donnan at St Vincent’s Private Hospital. After long months of recovery after surgery they had intensive physiotherapy to begin walking again. The boys know how important this is and inspire us with their determination to recover and return home.
It’s been a delight to watch Innocent and Trophimus make friends and grow from shy boys to confident, thoughtful young men. They’re happy, healthy and hopeful and appreciate the care and support they’ve received from Children First and everyone involved in their treatment.
The wonderful news is Innocent and Trophimus will return home to spend the festive season with their families, friends and community. We can only imagine the joy in their communities when they see the boys walk unaided.