16th May 2013
Click here to watch 60 seconds of Soma's transformation!
The Love the One team first met Soma back in January 2012...
Soma, 7 years old, was hobbling along in pain with severe bilateral club feet, along a dusty track in a remote area of India. From that moment on, our team decided we would try and track down his family, knowing that if he didn't have an operation on his feet then he would end up crippled as an adult, unable to stand or walk.
After some time we were able to find his family and hear more of his story. Soma is one of 4 children, he has a mother but no father, and has been marginalised and neglected in his family situation due to his disability. He has had no regular attendance at school, has gone without meals on many occasions and has had to walk for many miles on his bent ankles to try and care for himself.
We were delighted when we heard that the family were willing for him to have the operations he so desperately needed. The sad part of this story is that if Soma was diagnosed as a baby, most likely correction could have taken place without needing surgery. This is a message we want to continue to spread amongst the poor and rural communities in India so that no children grow up with such painful deformities such as Soma had.
In Feb 2013, Soma travelled with his Auntie and staff from our team on a 2 day journey to the hospital where his surgery was booked for. His operations, in the words of his surgeon, were 'very tricky', but finally Soma's ordeal was over and he then came to Hyderabad to stay for us for his recuperation period. Soma has had to spend the past 2+ months with both his little legs encased in plaster cast, but finally they have now been removed and he is undergoing physiotherapy with us to strengthen his legs and feet as we help to re-teach him to walk again, this time on the soles of his feet!
It has been a joy to watch Soma recover, not only physically, but also transforming from a withdrawn sad little boy to one full of joy and confidence as he blossoms with a lot of love and a lot of play!
Sadly it seems at this time that his family are unable/unwilling to want to care for Soma, so in the meantime he will be remaining in the loving care of Love the One, now being able to walk, going regularly to school and remaining in a loving family environment where he is not neglected or marginalised.
Soma has dreams in front of him of being able to ride a bicycle, play football and cricket and becoming a pilot or a policeman! The future is looking bright!