Maima and Youkoi at School
Many of you may remember Maima and Youkoi, twelve-year-old twins from rural Liberia, who had never been treated for clubfoot and had never been to school.
Their growth was stunted from lack of nutrition, and they rarely smiled. Maima and Youkoi’s parents couldn’t afford to send them to classes because the twins required at least one parent to care for them at all times.
“Youkoi and his twin sister have never entered (a) class room because they could not balance on their feet nor walk normally. They were always laughed at by their peers and even adults in the community,” said Maima and Youkoi’s father.
Then Maima and Youkoi’s parents heard from a local midwife that free Ponseti clubfoot treatment was available for the first time ever in Liberia, at a miraclefeet-sponsored clinic. So they traveled eight hours to the clinic in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital.
That’s when miraclefeet first met the twins. Because of the severity of their clubfoot and relatively old age, Maima and Youkoi stayed at the clinic for a full week to be treated by seasoned practitioners. Lauren, miraclefeet Program Manager, was there for their entire stay: “I saw them every day for five consecutive days. I never saw them smile.”
What a difference 6 months makes.
In October, FACORC, miraclefeet’s partnering organization in Liberia, sent the report every parent, doctor and supporter longs to hear: After a series of castings and bracing, Youkoi had completely recovered from his clubfoot and was walking normally. By January, Maima joined him fully recovered. Youkoi and Maima walk without pain for the first times in their lives.
To celebrate their beautifully corrected feet, Crocs Cares generously donated a pair of Crocs for each of the twins and other children at the clinic. With healed feet and shoes to support them, there was one important place Maima and Youkoi could finally go.
On January 3, 2013, the people of the twins’ hometown in Lofa County were amazed to see Maima and Youkoi walking to school for the first time in their lives. No longer laughed at daily because of their clubfeet, these incredible siblings proudly proved to an entire community that they had received the best gift possible—the gift of walking.