Usama is 2 years old and has congenital Talipes Equinovarus (TEV), otherwise known as Clubfoot. The condition affects both of his lower legs and feet, giving him tight Achilles tendons and making his feet point down and turn inward from the heels. Usama’s father is a survivor of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, and he and Usama’s mother were aware that something was wrong as soon as little Usama was born and they saw his twisted feet. As newborn’s feet are mostly cartilage, they were told that the sooner they started treatment for Usama’s condition the more successful the results would be. With surgery not an option and no free regular treatment available at the local Government hospitals, they brought Usama to the Chingari Rehabilitation Centre for assessment at only 10 months old.
The physiotherapists at Chingari recognised that if Usama was ever to learn to sit, stand, or walk independently, he would require weekly or even daily care to straighten and strengthen his feet. They created casts for Usama, designed to hold the lower leg and foot and slowly stretch the tissues to move the foot into the correct position. Over time, he has transitioned into wearing special sandals designed to brace the lower leg and with a bar that allows him to rotate his feet outward from their usual inward resting position. This allows the feet to rest in the correct position as the bone continues to grow. The results of the treatment so far have been remarkable: now just days away from his 2nd birthday, Usama is able to sit and is learning to walk independently. Usama will require continued weekly treatment to manage the condition until he is at least 4-5 years old, and we are excited to see him continue his progress in our care.
Outside Chingari, Usama enjoys being outdoors and playing in the park. He also loves cats and will happily watch them for hours at a time.