19 October 2017
During the last week of orthopedic surgeries this year, I met an 11-year-old patient whose spirit inspired me. Her name is Marie Therese. From the moment her plaster cast was reinforced with fiberglass and she was allowed out of bed, she has shown her grit and determination. Even in bed, she does her leg exercises without being told and rarely complains.
Watching her hoist her two long-leg, heavy casts out of bed–gosh, you should have seen it. Just picture a seesaw made out of concrete, but with the fulcrum at one end of the plank instead of the middle. Now picture those concrete seesaw planks are your legs.
So, when I say she hoisted her legs out of bed, I really mean it. Out of bed…into the bathroom… up and down the hallway…back into bed…over and over again.
Her upper body strength was a big contributor of course–her defined triceps were something to be admired–but I just felt that there was something more to it. There was something unbreakable in her spirit.
I asked her as she took yet another walk that day, “What is the first thing you’re going to do when you get these casts off?” She replied, “Walk straight into school!”
“That’s pretty cool,” I thought, “maybe she has never been to school.” After some questioning by a few of the day crew (our translators), they found out that she had already completed grade six and would soon be able to take her exam to progress from primary school to “pre-secondary” school. A significant accomplishment judging from the expressions on their faces.
They were impressed.
I was astounded.
Many children drop out when the bullying starts regarding their bent legs. Marie Therese had persisted in her studies–not knowing if her physical situation would ever change. What a lesson in faith for all of us!
And now that her circumstance has changed, she isn’t sitting back on her haunches. She is pursuing her goals and dreams full force–this time, on straight legs. Indeed, nothing can hold her back.
She is my hero.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. Proverbs 31:17