Meet Achilles

Achilles

“I would like to see him go to school.” Immaculate lovingly wiped her great-grandson’s nose as she spoke. This 70-year-old Ugandan woman has been taking care of Achilles ever since his mother abandoned him. When we met Achilles, he was only three-years-old – a sweet little boy with bowed legs.

Immaculate first noticed Achilles’ legs growing outward at 11 months. As time passed, they only grew worse.

This active little boy loved playing with the other kids, but the painful ache in his legs and joints made it too hard for him to keep up.

Achilles would sit on the ground and hold his legs, watching, while the other kids ran on ahead.

Here in Canada, a child like Achilles would get care for bowed legs from day one. But for families like Achilles, medical treatment is out of reach – it’s too far away and too expensive.

Immaculate and Achilles eat two meals a day and only have meat on Christmas and Easter. There’s no way they could have afforded surgery or even transportation to the hospital.

Achilles’ aunt worried for him. “The time will come when he will be unable to walk and then he’ll go back to crawling because of the pain.”

To think of this active little boy forced to crawl for the rest of his life, when corrective treatment is possible, is heartbreaking. Most likely, Achilles would never attend school because it would be too difficult to get there. And with no education and pain with each step, Achilles would someday struggle to find work. But because of a healinghugs donor like you, that wasn’t the end of Achilles’ story.

A community worker visited Achilles and his family and told them about Hope and Healing International’s partner hospital where Achilles could receive the surgery and physiotherapy he needed to walk without any pain.

Thanks to a healinghugs supporter, Achilles had surgery to straighten his bowed legs, and it was a success!

Now, three years later, Immaculate’s dream for Achilles has become a reality. This active six-year-old is in the classroom with all his friends and peers. His teacher, Janet, said, “He is a very happy, bright and, above all, active child in class and during physical exercise sessions.”

Achilles has gone from sitting on the sidelines to playing with the best of them as he chases the soccer ball with his friends – he even comes in first or second when they race against each other.

“Thank you for helping with Achilles’ medical and transport bills. I am very grateful,” Immaculate said. “I pray that God blesses all who have turned my grandson’s life for the better.”

What a transformation in Achilles’ life! And it’s thanks to a generous friend like you who decided to help a little boy from Uganda reach his full potential.