Saturday, March 3, 2012

Let Him Walk Again....

Yesterday John and I visited a friend of his in Maai Mahiu. He told me that the guy, Steven, was 20 years old. But when I got there and I saw him for the first time, it was impossible to believe. Steven was born with an abnormally large head, filled with fluid (all you doctors out there can help me with the medical term for this condition...). He lived a pretty normal life, the only problem was his head was about 3 sizes too big. He was able to go to school, walk, and function normally. No mental disabilities whatsoever. Some years ago Steven's head developed a blood clot due to all the falls he encountered because of his being so unbalanced. The clot pushed on his brain, disabling his ability to walk and continue growing. He couldn't continue school and was pretty much bedridden. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to once have been able to walk, then having that seemingly simple skill stripped away from you? Can you imagine thinking you were growing up, when suddenly that development is stopped for good? I can't...

20 yr old Steven, with John
What never ceases to amaze me about almost all Kenyans in general, but especially cases like this, is that I didn't once see Steven without a smile on his face. Which you will notice in all the photos I post. We were at his house nearly all day, and every time I looked at him, he was full of joy. How they keep this mentality, I do not know... but it's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

So, Steven had gone to Kijabe Hospital to get the blood clot removed and the doctors informed him that he could someday walk again with physical therapy and practice. But Steven's family can't afford that, he has no father and his mother pretty much abandoned him to prostitution in Maai Mahiu town, so Steven lives with his neighbors. His room is the little space behind him in the photo above. So, yesterday John and I built a wooden rail that Steven can hold on to, in order to practice walking.

Steven, one of the neighbor boys, and me digging the holes for the posts

Finished right in time for the rains to start again
I hope with all that's inside me that Steven will someday walk again, and attempt to live a somewhat normal life. It's already going to be hard enough being 20, 30, 40, or 50 years old stuck inside the body of a 10 year old.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Kristin. The joy in the face of such a tough life is, truly, amazing. Thanks for being there for Steven. xo