Pictured above is Marli, a nurse in Sao Paulo, Brazil and a special friend to miraclefeet. Marli began working with clubfoot patients over a decade ago and has since committed herself to treating children suffering from talipes. Marli doesn’t just help patients for a day though—she heals them for a lifetime.
The Ponseti method, the gold standard treatment for clubfoot in developing countries, involves a series of castings—six to eight over a two month period. These castings require no cutting or surgery, so they are pain free for children. But casts have to be removed. Some nurses or doctors will use a saw to remove casts. Though this won’t hurt the child, imagine how scary and traumatic the appearance of a razor-edged tool is to an already confused infant or toddler. Recall that casts are removed six to eight times, too.
But this method of cast removal is not the only way. miraclefeet partners with nurses like Marli who opt for a much gentler, less intimidating method. Marli simply soaks a child’s casted feet in warm water until the casts loosen. It’s peaceful for young patients and just as effective. And Marli uses this extra soaking time to perform another very important step in the Ponseti method: educating moms.
After the series of castings, the feet are completely corrected. But to ensure the corrected feet don’t relapse, patients wear a foot abduction brace for another several years. This step is really important to ensure the successful treatment continues. And it’s up to the parents to make sure their child wears this brace every day. Often it can appear the brace isn’t necessary—the child’s feet look great, they are walking around—but continued use is imperative. Marli understands this and acts as a counselor, talking to mothers from the very beginning about why treatment and the brace are so important. This thoughtfulness and extra care are why Marli’s clubfoot clinic has such wonderfully low relapse rates.
miraclefeet is proud to partner with doctors, counselors and nurses like Marli who, with the funds provided by generousmiraclefeet donors, provide thorough and gentle care to young clubfoot patients in developing nations around the globe. Over the next year, we are excited to build upon existing partnerships, like in Brazil with Marli, and expand to new locations and clinics, in need of extra funds and assistance, who are doing incredible work.
To see more Photos of the Day: twitter.com/miraclefeet
To learn about other clinics miraclefeet currently partners with: miraclefeet.org
To donate and help “miracle” workers like Marli: https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=1001406