Overcoming clubfoot to walk: Bryan's Story
A smiling Bryan enjoys the company of his 8-year-old brother Jordan.
When Bryan was one, his mother noticed that his left foot was angled outwards. She became worried and took him for a checkup at ASOPADIS, a local organization that helps people with disabilities. The doctor there said Bryan had clubfoot and recommended getting treatment at Adisa, which has a specialist program to treat the condition.
Bryan with his mother, Reina, and his older brother.
For a month Bryan came to Adisa every week to get his feet set in plaster - part of the Ponseti method that aims to get children walking without invasive surgery. It proved a huge success, with his feet straightening out far faster than expected.
ADISA then gave him a pair of shoes on a bar which he had to wear around the clock for three months. At first, Bryan would kick and cry whenever his mother tried to put the brace on because it was uncomfortable. But one day she told Bryan he needed to wear the brace if he ever wanted to play soccer and go to school. Determined to do both, Bryan - now three years old - helps his mother put it on. He needs to wear it at night for five years.
Bryan's mother putting on the special shoes.
Bryan started to get follow-up treatment at Adisa but his family, who live a 30-minute pick-up truck ride away, can no longer afford that after taking out loans to pay for Bryan’s plaster casts. His mother, who watched the therapist at Adisa massage and stretch Bryan’s feet, now does the treatment from home herself.
And the results are showing - in November Bryan surprised his mom by getting off the bed and walking towards her for the first time. He now enjoys playing football - his favorite sport - instead of just watching and he loves getting up to mischief with his 8-year-old brother too. His mother jokes that he might even be a professional footballer one day.
Bryan helps his mother put the special shoes on and understands their importance.
"Without the support of Adisa, life would have been very sad because Bryan wouldn’t be walking," said Reina, Bryan’s mom. "But now he´s very happy because he can walk and do things for himself - if he wants something he just gets off the chair and gets it. I am so happy to see him gaining his independence."