|Look at her leg! Bent at the shin!|
This is a story so dear to my heart it is hard to write it without tears coming to my eyes.
Mila was a little girl I met way back in 2001 when I was visiting the family of my friend. She lived on a very remote island in one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines. Samar. It was a lazy hot afternoon when I was eating lunch that Mila can stumbling in the native house where we were. When I first saw her she had a huge smile on her face. It was quite dark inside the native house but her leg had caught my eye. There was something very wrong with it. Instead of the leg bending at the knee it was bending at the shin and it was the shin that was touching the ground when she walked and not her foot.
I had inquired to the family what happened to her leg and they told me that when Mila was two years old she had fallen out of her raised bahay kubo and broke her leg terribly. When I asked why did she not see a doctor I was even more saddened. I was told that Mila's mom had abandon her and her father was killed at sea as a fisherman. So Mila was left to just go from one aunt to another and basically had no family. Mila never received treatment for her leg. She had to endure the pain of a broken leg and then manage to walk on it for nearly 7 years!
I remember not being able to sleep well when I had returned to the States after meeting Mila. How could this innocent human be forced to continue this kind of life when I had the ability to help? It bothered me for several months until I made the decision to help her.
It was because of Mila that I had made my first trip to Cebu. I went there to arrange for her to have her leg operated on by Dr. Migi Morales who at that time was a renown orthopedic surgeon. I found out about him by a referral from another surgeon who had operated on my knee in Manila earlier that year.
|Painful moments on the road to recovery|
I don't know how she did it. I am so proud of her. She never complained and was so grateful for my help. She had a wonderful spirit and a unique character. She won the hearts of whomever she met. Definitely a gifted child.
|I gave her the best I could. What a brave little girl!|
Even now I still pray for her and wonder how she is doing. Somehow with that very special character I am sure she will be successful in whatever she does in life. Mila is a born winner!