As a way of avoiding the cultural stigma of being disfigured, seventeen-year-old Terrance chose to spend his time in the fish camps with his father instead of in school with his peers. Terrance was born with a club foot and has lived with the deformity all his life.
“One of Terrance’s fears was that he would not be able to find a wife because of his club foot,” said Mubanga, Terrance’s father. He would often try to console his son, assuring him that he would be able to find love and get married even with his twisted leg, but when Mubanga found out about the possibility for a reconstructive surgery, he felt hope.
Since 2011, Bright Hope has been funding and facilitating reconstructive surgeries for children in Zambia like Terrance who were born with birth defects. Most of these medical cases are to mend club feet and other limb deformities as well as plastic surgery cases to repair a cleft lip.
These surgeries are done at the CURE Hospital in Lusaka, which specializes in these types of procedures. Bright Hope’s job is to identify clients such as Terrance who are in need, and then facilitate their transport back and forth from Samfya to Lusaka (a distance of nearly 450 miles).
Terrance’s surgery through Bright Hope’s partner, CURE, was life-changing. “This really is a miracle for the whole family,” Mubanga said. Terrance has one more visit to Lusaka in December, and then his treatment will be complete. Currently, he uses a walking stick and is still getting used to having his foot aligned in its proper position, but he no longer experiences any pain in his foot.