Journey To Africa-Day Five - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Journey To Africa-Day Five


Saturday, June 4, 2005
11:31 p.m. in Kijabe
3:31 p.m. in the U.S

Today we took Timothy home. Well not home but to his boarding school for the mentally and physically disabled. It’s in Thika, Kenya which is a couple hours away. We drove him back to school because he was sent alone, by bus to get a L.E.G.S. prosthetic in Kijabe and there was no relative around to ride back with him. When we arrived, there were so many children outside iting for relatives because it was “visiting day”! I have to admit we were all uncertain if Timothy’s mother or father was going to even show up at all! All we could do was sit and wait. And that we did… for over an hour, until finally Timothy’s mother arrived! Her name is Evelyn—he looks just like her! It was a big relief seeing her there because the last thing I wanted to do was leave him there… alone… without some who cares about him coming to visit.

Timothy shares a room with 29 other mentally or physically disabled children. His dorm has 30 beds that are spread about 2 feet from each side-by-side. It’s a cramped up space and a lot of people were in there today. So Timothy, his mother and I sat on his bed after she agreed to tell us more about Timothy’s amputation. She explained that Timothy’s leg began to rot, smell and had white fluid seeping out of it so doctors diagnosed it as a snake bite. She says the decision to amputate was a troubling one. She accepted that it had to be done, but Timothy’s father was against it. She went on to say Timothy didn’t want his leg amputated either, telling his father that if they make that decision the father must give him his leg. If only that was possible… Evelyn did say she was “grateful” for the L.E.G.S. team making her son a prosthetic. She says he loves to play in the garden back home and she’s so happy that he will now be able to do that again. “Mungu Akubariki,” she said, which means “God bless you” in Swahili.<

Myself, L.E.G.S. Director Dr. Roger Gonzalez, Kristin Ness and Caleb Roepke dropped Timothy off. The rest of the team stayed back to work in the brace lab at the clinic. Doris, Magdelene and Rose were there for more fittings and rehabilitation. Doris was able to leave the Kijabe clinic today.

I was asked tonight what has been my favorite part of this trip…I said seeing the transformation of patients' faces, self-esteem and confidence… all thanks to a prosthetic they thought would never been in their reach.

The L.E.G.S. Team goofing around during an early morning shoot with KLTV 7 News.

Timothy escorts L.E.G.S. Team members Kristen Ness and Dr. Roger Gonzalez to his bed at the Joytown Special School for the mentally and physically disabled in Thika, Kenya, a 2 hour drive from Kijabe.

Timothy shows L.E.G.S. Team member Kristin Ness what’s inside his chest, like his uniform and reading books including, Red Riding Hood.

These are some of the children that gathered outside Timothy’s dorm when we arrived. Timothy said they are his friends.

Timothy’s mother Evelyn arrived at the school for “visiting day.” She talked to KLTV 7’s Christine Nelson saying she is grateful for Timothy’s new prosthetic leg.

This is Timothy’s final walk with KLTV 7’s Christine Nelson before goodbyes are said. KLTV 7 Photojournalist Kevin Maples follows closely behind recording every moment.

Bye Timothy! Good luck with your new leg!

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