Where healing her son was concerned, Francisco Marco’s
mother seemed to be guided by one philosophy: "If at first you don’t succeed,
try, try again." Francisco was born with clubfeet. He was just two weeks old
when his mother brought him to us at Sengerema Hospital in western Tanzania
where I was director of physical therapy. For almost a year Mama Francisco
trudged back and forth for her baby’s treatments that we could offer free.
Realizing that therapy was not enough, my assistants Helena Manoti and Euphrasia
William and I sat down with Mama Francisco to discuss the possibility of surgery
for the child.
When Dr. Abdul Hussein Osman, a Sudanese plastic surgeon with the Flying Doctor
Service, came to our area, Francisco was one of his first patients. After the
surgery we continued therapy. Francisco’s feet did not always cooperate! But
Mama Francisco never gave up hope. A donated pair of shoes helped him stand
correctly. No mother could have been prouder than Mama Francisco as her toddler
took his first steps. Her persistent striving was not in vain.