Lucy’s Upcoming Surgery


Lucy in October, 2010

Lucy in October 2010

Lucy Thama is a 14 year-old girl with a frail body and an amazing spirit.

She has endured unbelievable physical hardship and suffering in her young life.

Lucy was a conjoined twin who was separated from a non-living sibling when she was 9 months old.

When she was a toddler, Lucy’s legs became paralyzed and her health has always been her biggest challenge.

She very nearly died in 2007, while in 2008 she and her family were at the epicenter of some of the most violent post-election riots.  Again in 2009, her health failed and she almost didn’t make it.

You can find a summary of the many articles written about Lucy by clicking here.

Last month, I had the great privilege and joy to visit Lucy during my trip to Kenya.  As always, her smile is contageous and Margaret and I had a lot of fun spending time with Lucy and her delightful family in their small one-room home.

Since her problems in 2009, she has never returned to school.  Instead, she remains in her house day after day.

The doctors will not allow her to move around too much, for fear that she will aggravate the terrible open wound that remains on the back of her leg.  So she has basically been restricted to the couch during the day, and bed during the night.

Fortunately, she is in our sponsorship program, so a tutor from her school visits her home for several hours every day.  She proudly showed me her school work — the numerous exercise books with every page filled with homework in mathematics, language, and social studies.

Lucy and exercise books

Lucy shows her exercise books

Lucy is a diligent and hard worker.  She has improved tremendously in her academics, and is scoring high marks on her exams.

Though she is 14, she is just now completing the sixth grade, of course through no fault of her own.  Her health and family financial situation have set back her progress, but she is now solidly on track to move on to the 7th grade.

Unfortunately, that wound on her leg will still not heal (you can see a photo here).  It’s been there since 2007, and the doctors have operated twice trying to close it.

If I understand correctly, after each of the previous surgeries, when it has come time to remove the sutures, the wound will eventually re-open.

At least now, the wound is much more shallow than before.  When the wound was first operated on, it was so deep, it was almost to the bone.

Her family must carefully treat it daily, always working to eliminate the chance of infection.

On November 24th, Lucy will return to Kijabe Hospital and they will operate again.  This time, they will attempt a more aggressive skin graft which we all hope will solve the problem once and for all.

Please keep Lucy and her family in your prayers.  Stay tuned for updates later in the month.  We all look forward to the time — hopefully very soon — when Lucy will be back on her leg braces and mobile again!

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