NZIKINHUNDA Jackson, 8 years old
Jackson is the last-born child of three children of Ildephonse and Francine. He was born with Club Foot. When Jackson was a baby, his mother Francine took him to Kibagabaga hospital for casting hoping to repair his feet. At that time, her husband was absent and angry about Jackson’s condition. He told his wife that no one in his family ever had a disability, so it must have been her fault. She continued to go for casting for one whole year. The doctors sent her home with special corrective shoes for Jackson. Unfortunately, Francine ran out of money to buy another pair of shoes and Jackson outgrew the old pair. He was then two years old, and his feet reverted back into their original disformed state. Francine and her husband, Ildephonse, continued to fight over Jackson’s condition. At one point, she fled to the Southern Province of Rwanda to be with her family for a few weeks. Seeing the desperation and stress the family was dealing with, local trusted friends spoke with Ildephonse and convinced him to love and support his wife and child again. Their advice significantly helped the family. He soon changed his mind and he began to treat his wife with more respect. He continued to support the family by working jobs as a repair man and guard in Kigali City’s Kimironko neighborhood.
In late 2017, the family met Love With Actions. With the assistance of gracious donors, Jackson was sent to Gahini Hospital in January 2018 to begin surgery and casting to fix his feet permanently. Francine stays with Jackson while he endures the surgeries and therapy. She reports that while she wants to come home, she has a strong base of friends at Gahini. She can leave Jackson alone with her friends there, trusting well that he will be safe. Jackson’s sisters tend to the home in their mother’s absence and overall the family’s spirit is positive. In May 2018, Jackson’s two sisters had a chance to visit their brother and mother at Gahini Hospital, and when the girls go on school break they are expected to return for visiting. The therapists and doctors estimate that Jackson will return home in August 2018 walking easily for the first time in his life. He will no longer need corrective shoes but will check-in with the doctors every few months to make sure all is well.