Lawrence is not new to hospitals; his five years of life have so far been characterized by more trips to different medical facilities than his parents can keep tabs on. He was born with bilateral clubfoot and spina bifida, a condition characterized by an immaturely formed spinal cord. Thankfully, within days of his birth, his parents had been referred to a hospital where a procedure to close his chord was performed.
As the adults settled in to talk, having been introduced to Lawrence’s two sisters and his niece, the kids giggled away playing together. Lawrence was evidently very energetic, taunting his sister and niece with superhero moves, at one point even tying a tablecloth around his neck, wrist, and face, obviously trying to emulate a character that he loved. Currently, Lawrence is walking on the lateral side of his feet, and even when he does, he has to have support, but according to his father, this has not stopped him from attempting to do things he sees his agemates doing, “sometimes he tries to herd the cows, but they often overpower him”, Lawrence told us laughing.
There are so many expenses that come with taking care of a child with a disability, James, Lawrences’ father explained. Lawrence has to be on diapers since the spina bifida often causes difficulties in bowel and bladder control, his parents have spent a considerable amount of money on transport and consultation fee taking him to hospitals for various specialty clinics, they have bought devices in an attempt to straighten his legs. And yet, the journey ahead still looks long due to the compounding effects of the two congenital conditions. Thankfully, our paths met, and even though our journey with them will not take away all his difficulties, it will go a long way in reducing the burden of care. It seems like the possibilities are endless for Lawrence and hopefully this surgery will begin the process of unlocking those possibilities.