Kenyan Child Gets to Walk for the First Time After Surgery in Bad Kreuznach

Libese James
James Libese after his surgery, walking around with the crutches

Born in a small village in Western Kenya, James Libese was born healthy with no complications, this was however to change. At only six months, a matress James was sleeping on caught fire. His feet got burnt.

James Libese
James Libese at his school in Kaduna, moving around on his knees with his feet wrapped up.

Since then, James never got to learn how to walk. With half os his feet mutilated, he was unable to use them. He would move around on his knees, unable to play with other kids in school. That was to change when he met Brenda and Tobias Lutz, a German couple from Friedberg that runs the Ubuntu e.V., an organisation that aims to bring medical care closer to people in Kasuna.

James Libese
James and a nurse, removing his badges at the hospital in Bad Kreuznach after his surgery.

During the Lutz’s visit to Kenya last year, they were joined by the Stern TV crew, who were moved by James’ story. They did a story on him that aired shortly before Christmas last year. As fate would have it, Dr. Andre Borsche, a surgeon and the current chair of “Interplast e.V.”, got wind of the story and offered to pay for James’ surgery, which he would carry out in Bad Kreuznach.

After numerous letters and meetings at the German Embassy in Nairobi and the various government agencies, James finally arrived in Germany in September for his surgery.

Numerous tests, reviews and discussions, eventually discovered that instead of getting prosthesis for James as they had initially planned. Though mutilated, James still had the required bones for his feet to be restructured and possibly walk on them.

Weeks after his surgery, James had to undergo therapy, learning how to walk. By the time he was returning to Kenya, he could walk on his own without using the crutches.

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