Sunday, October 10, 2010

Young Raphael needs your help

One-year-old Raphael Gunisa with his foster-mother Cella Gunisa at The Center on Saturday. The young boy needs milk and vitamins.


A Friend of Tembari Children

ONE-YEAR-OLD Raphael Gunisa was brought to The Center on Saturday for help.

Raphael’s two legs and feet are in cast, done by the physiotherapist at the POM General Hospital about a week ago.

He was born with deformities in both of his feet: they are pointing inwards and he could stand with only the outer sides of his two feet – and not the soles -- touching the ground.

So his balance is off and his body sways left and right while standing.

And when he walks, he does it awkwardly, with his knees almost touching each other.

However, Raphael doesn’t feel any pain, thinking his way of walking is just natural. It’s only that he finds it hard to move around – meaning to walk around awkwardly.

Raphael is the fourth child of a couple who has no means to support themselves.

So on December 29, 2009, when he was just three months old, Raphael was given away by her parents to Cella Gunisa, 40, who lives at ATS Oro Settlement, at 7-Mile outside of Port Moresby.

The reason was that his parents have already three kids – all of them boys – and that they really wanted to have a girl.

So, they gave away poor Raph for adoption.

But foster parent Cella knew better.

Immediately, she already knew that her parents were aware Raph has deformities and that they did not want to have anything to do with him.

Last week, on advice from a doctor, Cella brought Raphael to a physiotherapist at the hospital who put the child’s legs and feet on cast. It is in the hope that the cast would do the trick – to make the feet normal.

It would be removed after six weeks, after which the attending doctor would determine if Raphael needed a surgery to fix the problem.

This exercise could be costly and Cella would like to appeal for help to get it done so her child would walk like a normal child.

With the cast in his legs and feet, Raphael moves around in the house crawling.

Raphael is now among the children that The Center is looking after. But the facility has no means to deal with his problem, so we are appealing for help on his behalf.

The boy is only a year old and his bones are still soft, so to speak. A surgery done as soon as possible has all the chance to solve his problem.

And he needs some feeding help – he needs toddler’s milk because the milk The Center has – the ones in one-litter packs – would not be suited for him.

Anyone who is able to help Raphael could contact me through my email addresses below. Or call me at my numbers – 324-6712 or 722-31984.

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