A teenager whose knee was bent BACKWARDS can walk tall for the first time thanks to an operation.
Marie Madeleine, 13, had an abnormally tight muscle contracture in her leg so her knee hyperextended backward.
The more she grew, the more her knee bent back, leaving her with a severe limp when she walked, which didn’t deter her from going to school each day.
But she was struggling to keep up, so when a hospital vessel operated by charity Mercy Ships docked near her home in Senegal, Africa, she went to ask for help.
Marie boarded the charity’s ship Africa Mercy and received free surgery to release the muscle and straighten her leg.
And after months of rehabilitation and hard work, she’s finally standing tall for the first time in years.
When she got back to her village, her classmates, asked her how her leg had healed and she said: “We love God. God has healed me, and his plan for me is to walk like this now.”
Marie’s Grandmother, Adama added: “My hope was for her to be like every other girl with a backpack going to school, but we couldn’t afford surgery, so we just waited for a miracle.
“I am so happy to see her going to school with straight legs – everything is okay now.
“Marie Madeleine is a very joyful girl. She has many friends.”
A neighbour in their village told them the Africa Mercy had arrived at the Port of Dakar, about 100 miles from their home.
The family applied and were accepted on the surgery schedule, and she had the operation in November last year.
Marie’s knee muscle had not been used properly for years, weakening her leg muscles, but she worked for hours each week to restore her mobility and strength.
Her rehabilitation took several months but Marie returned to school the day after she arrived back to her village.
The Africa Mercy was able to perform over 1,400 life changing surgeries in their trip to Senegal.
Mercy Ships is a charity which travels worldwide to assist people in developing countries who do not have access to safe, affordable and timely surgery.