On May 31st, 2012 the Maxwell family boarded a plane and moved to eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) to live at Project Canaan. I hope to update my blog on Saturday mornings and share, as honestly as I can, the highs and lows of our life in Africa. We are living on a farm in a remote part of this tiny Kingdom and are serving the community as well as the orphans and vulnerable children of the nation. Thanks for joining us.
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Saturday, July 16, 2016
16 toes and 14 fingers
We have a little boy named Moses who came to us from a
tragic family situation. He was born on September 15, 2013 and was a twin, but the sibling twin died in childbirth,
along with his mother.His
15-year-old sister had been caring for him, and the other four children as best
she could (after the father ran away), but she couldn’t provide food or milk
for them so she sought help from Social Welfare. We were asked to take Moses and we agreed.
When a new child comes to us the first thing we do is pray
over them, bathe them then do a full physical assessment (weight, length, signs
of scaring, signs of witchcraft etc).Upon this boy’s assessment we discovered that his little teeth were
black/brown from severe malnutrition and he had eight toes on EACH foot and
seven fingers on EACH hand. This is most likely the result of a case of incest
and while seeing extra digits isn’t that uncommon here, seeing so many extras
is quite unique.
Moses has learned to adapt with his hands, but they are not
functioning well and his feet will always be a problem.After getting medical advice from
Doctors in the US, South Korea and Swaziland it was recommended that he receive
Two weeks ago he was taken to a top Orthopaedic surgeon in
South Africa and assessed again.The recommendation was that he have 2-3 sets of surgery, which will
result in the removal of ten (yes TEN) fingers and toes. They will do some
reconstruction and repositioning with careful attention to the positioning of
the big toes (needed for balance and mobility) and his thumbs (needed for the “pinching”
movement to do up a zipper or button a shirt).
The Doctor also recommend that these surgeries happen sooner
than later so that he can recover quickly and have his new hands and feet
develop as he continues to grow.The cost for these multiple surgeries, including
transportation/hotels/food in South Africa, is approximately $20,000 USD. They will do both feet and one hand in
the first surgery and leave one hand for him to use.The second surgery will be the second hand and any other
adjustments from the first surgery. They are hopeful that a third surgery will
not be needed.
In addition, last week baby Timothy needed surgery to have a
hernia fixed.That was done here
in Swaziland at a private hospital by the surgeon whom we know and trust. It is
the same Doctor who did Ben’s skin grafting and colostomy reversal and all of Baby
River’s clean up surgeries and several colostomies and reversals). Timothy’s total
surgery cost was $2,000 USD and it was successful.
So today I am asking for your financial help.We had to move ahead with Timothy’s
hernia surgery for health/medical reasons and now that hospital bill is due.
We would like to book Moses’ surgery for the end of August
(the soonest they can do it), but cannot do that until we have the funds to do
so. I am writing today with
the hopes that someone feels for these children and can help us do the best we
can to help provide a bright future.