Christina is one of the many children we have connected with in Haiti over the years. Her story is nothing short of miraculous and, by supporting this project, YOU have been an integral part of her success.
An otherwise completely healthy infant, Christina was born with a birth defect that caused severe clubbing in both of her feet. Over the years she endured multiple unsuccessful surgeries and castings to correct her condition, after which she was no closer to walking than she was the day she was born.
In 2013, the tides began to change for Christina. No longer would she be resigned to life in a wheelchair, but rather to a newfound hope of planting both feet on the ground (something her condition never allowed her to do) and even walking independently!
Through our partnership with West Tennessee Haiti Partnership (WTHP), Dr. Bheki Khumalo (clubfoot specialist / Memphis, TN) and Dr. Georges Beauvoir (surgeon / Port-au-Prince, Haiti), Christina's first successful surgery was completed in August 2013. The skilled surgical team performed a tendon release, bone and soft tissue correction, and finally a foot rotation on her right.
After her foot healed, Christina's second surgery was completed in February 2014 on her left. When the stiches were removed, she was able to wear a boot and worked with a physical therapist to strengthen her legs.
In April came Christina’s miracle! Our partners from WTHP were conducting a clinic at Christina’s home, St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince. Dr. Jenn and Tiffany (visiting physical therapist and nurse respectively) began stretching Christina's legs and ankles, encouraging her to begin putting weight on her feet. Then it was time for Christina to stand up. With support of each arm, Christina put one foot in front of the other and took THE FIRST STEPS OF HER LIFE!
After 16 years of thinking walking was something unachievable, she was able to take her first steps and one of our partners from WTHP was able to capture it on video - see link below! The footage is raw but heartwarming. Christina is a bright, energetic girl who is well on her way to leading a more normal life now that both feet are corrected. She will continue to work with therapists to walk and become increasingly independent.
Christina may never have taken these steps without your support for which we are eternally grateful. We invite you to continue to be a part of this life-transforming process, helping kids like Christina, kids whose biggest obstacle in life was being born into poverty where adequate medical care isn't an option as their families struggle to put food on the table.
The cost of both surgeries - $3600!
The long-term effects - priceless.
Sweet Princess. It is with heavy hearts that we share that she passed away in the wee hours just past midnight. Yesterday morning, she came through her open heart surgery with no apparent complications. By afternoon, the medical team was already discussing plans for her next procedure in 6 months following her expected recovery. The US host family spent time with her mother, Fabiola, to offer support throughout the day. Yet sometime during the night Princess slipped away. We are confident that the medical team did everything they could for her, but we understand that she was critical due to the nature of her surgery.Tomorrow TRTP VP, Sonya, her children, and a friend will be visiting Princess's mother, Fabiola, to comfort her in any way possible. We are framing the photos that we took of mom and baby 2 days ago and giving them as a gift. We treasure these photos and hope that Fabiola's family will too.If you pray, please say a prayer for the family who is in deep mourning. If you think positive thoughts, please send your energy to them. The mother, father and grandmother's separation from one another at this time must be unbearable. Gifts in both Princess and Jacob's memory are gratefully accepted. With these gifts we will continue to provide hippotherapy for children with disabilities. Thank you as always for your support for all parents that grieve the loss of a child.
Our hearts are overwhelmed today. It is a day for CELEBRATION, MEMORIES, TEARS, and most importantly, HOPE.
Today we honor the life of Jacob Noah Beachy, namesake for Jacob's Fund, the US arm of The Red Thread Promise. This day would have marked his 10th birthday, a day we continue to celebrate every year. Jacob was born with a heart condition that required multiple surgeries; complications from his final procedure took him from us 3 short years later. While his life here was brief, his memory continues to make a lasting impact on children with disabilities. We honor him every time we award a hippotherapy ridership to a disadvantaged child. Along with his family, we are happy that a bit of Jacob lives on in everyone who receives this life-changing treatment through gifts from caring people like you.
On this same day 7 years later, an infant girl with a similar heart condition went to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio for open heart surgery. Today, tiny Princess, a Haitian infant just 6 months old and barely 10 lbs, had her first of several critical operations, under the skilled hands of the same surgeon in the same hospital where Jacob was treated. Both children will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
We ask for your prayers and positive thoughts for this little girl, her mother, the surgeon and the hospital staff. Although she made it through surgery, we are unsure of her status as of this report. We trust that everything went well, and following all future procedures, she will grow up to lead the most normal life possible in Haiti with her family. The Red Thread Promise will continue to support Princess and her mother, Fabiola, while in the States as well as in their home country.
Your donations make a huge difference in the lives of disabled children in the United States and abroad. Please consider making your next gift to The Red Thread Promise in honor of Jacob to help children like Princess receive the medical care and therapy they need to lead the fullest life possible. Thank you for your support and for sharing this critical need with others so we can make a huge impact on children with disabilites.