of the month
By Rich Petersen
Evelyn Dayán Pérez Alvarez
We’d like to introduce you to two-year-old Evelyn Dayán Pérez Álvarez, seen here in the arms of her mother Marcela. Evelyn lives with her parents and 11-year old brother in San Juan Cosalá. Mom is a housewife and her father, Román, is a house painter.
Evelyn was born with a severely adducted (in-turned) left foot. Shortly after being born she was sent to the operating room for surgery to try to correct this condition, but unfortunately the surgery was not successful. She was then put in a cast to try to force the foot into a more normal position. This, too, did not help.
When her mother first brought Evelyn to our Niños Incpacitados intake session last April, I was amazed to see her actually walking and running about on the side of her inturned foot—not of course on the sole of the foot since it was so badly twisted. The little girl had adapted to her condition and was using her left foot as best she could.
This past October Evelyn underwent another surgery, this time to actually readjust the bone of her foot into the correct position. You can see in the photo a metal device attached to the bottom of both her shoes to maintain the left foot in a straightened position. She will have to wear this until she is five years old, but not constantly. Her mother was instructed to remove the metal bar for a specified time each evening so Evelyn can learn to use her “new” foot. For now she goes without the brace for an hour each day.
With each visit back to her orthopedist’s office, and according to how well she is progressing, the time without the brace will be extended until, hopefully, her left foot has returned to its normal position. At our last monthly meeting, her mother told us that Evelyn is already started standing on her own and walking a bit during the time without her brace.
Niños Incapacitados assists many children with orthopedic problems, some more serious than Evelyn’s, and all requiring therapy sessions, special shoes and/or leg/hip braces. We are always happy to bring you news of “success” stories such as Evelyn’s.
Niños Incapacitados welcomes you to our monthly meetings—the second Thursday of every month, 10:30 a.m. in the garden area of La Nueva Posada. Volunteers and new members are always needed to help with ongoing fundraising activities to help the children in our area whose families are in need of financial help to assist with medical expenses. For further information and to read about other children enrolled in our Program, please visit our website: www.programaninos.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org.