Elizabeth is 22 years old and walks on all four of her limbs.
The people around Goma say she is a woman who “walks like a goat”.
As a young child, Elizabeth contracted polio. For years she managed to move around with a metal insert beneath one of her feet to help balance and alignment. After being raped she chose to raise and have her baby at age 19. One day as she was multi-tasking between caring for the baby and cooking doughnuts to sell, she accidentally tipped the boiling pot of oil on her good leg. With the help of her family, she was able to obtain treatment for her burn. But instead of getting better, it deteriorated and infection set in. Eventually, she was left with no choice but to amputate her burned leg.
When Elizabeth arrived in Goma for orthopedic care, she was not a new patient to HEAL Africa. She had received fistula treatment (resulted from when she was raped) during one of HEAL Africa’s fistula outreach projects in her town. Upon seeing her move on all four limbs, the staff referred her to HEAL Africa’s Goma location, where she would receive more specialized care for her ambulatory needs.
Months later, she is greeted by orthopedic staff and Dr. Jo Lusi, an orthopedic surgeon who has spent much of his career raising the dignity of women in Congo.
We think it’s providential too.