For six months, Shriners Hospital care coordinator Leona Pereza worked with little 7-year-old Namaua Tebau as the child’s club foot was gradually turned forward by doctors and nurses at the hospital in Honolulu.
Namaua was the first child from the central Pacific nation of Kiribati to be cared for at Shriners Hospital for Children in Honolulu, sponsored by us at Pacific Islands Medical Aid and Mending Kids International of Burbank, California, and with Shriners providing all the medical care.
After six months of constant care, Namaua has now returned home to Christmas Island, walking on her own.
The moment Namaua’s final cast was removed created powerful emotions for Namaua and Leona.
Here is Leona’s account:
By Leona Pereza
“I wish I could have videotaped this, here was a moment worth a thousand words. When the cast finally came off and the foot was cleaned, she looked at it in awe and wonder like seeing a miracle unwrapped.
She flexed it up and down slowly, looked at it from all angles, then put both feet together and flexed them both in unison. Then she hung them over the side of the table and flexed them again, slowly. All the while never saying a word.
Finally, when she looked up her entire face was lit up and a priceless smile spread from ear to ear and her eyes sparkled!
This was reward and affirmation enough for all of us as to why we do what we do, and inspiration to drive each day to do more and do better”