The first time I laid my eyes on her was in the ground floor play room of the out-patient clinics. Her mother had stretched her on her tummy on a table near the door, away from the other children. Maryam, a three year old girl with a frail little body, was busy building a tower with lego blocks. I wandered how she could be setting the blocks one on top of each other with such agility while being in such an uncomfortable position. As I came closer to her, I discovered she was almost paralyzed from the waist down to her tiny feet which were lifeless and turned sideways. She seemed to draw all the force and agility she needed from her two tiny hands and she did that so well!
Seeing a concerned and questioning expression on my face, her mother shared with me the details of Maryam’s case. Maryam was admitted to the hospital last May and diagnosed with a large tumor in her spinal cord. Although the tumor was successfully removed and she is now completely free from the disease, Maryam has a long way to go and a lot of suffering to endure before we can be able to predict a brighter future for her. Unfortunately, physicians in her home town failed to detect the cancer early enough before it pressed on her spinal cord and affected her motor skills.
Maryam’s troubles in fact started when she was a year and a half old baby. At the time, she had not started to walk but nobody suspected this was a result of the pressure of the tumor on her legs. This pressure also was responsible for a deviation in her spinal cord and atrophy in one of her lungs. Mom comes a long way from their home town for her daughter’s regular follow-up leaving behind two other children still in their schooling age. As I became more and more concerned about Maryam’s fate, wondering if she would ever recover fully from this trauma, I was at least comforted to find out that 57357 was offering Maryam all the possible required support and quality care in order to improve her condition and alleviate her life-long suffering. As such, she is scheduled for physiotherapy three times a week, she is offered a therapeutic belt around her waist to support her back, and a year from now, she will be scheduled for a complex surgery to rectify the deviated spinal cord.
Keep Maryam and her family in your prayers every day, she needs all your compassion and support!