Before she makes her decision, James’ mother turns her gaze towards the hospital door one last time. It is a farewell whose emptiness is indescribable. She will never again hug the child she carried under her heart for nine months.
She feels that the whole world is against her. She feels that she will be judged as a runaway. For the rest of her life, she will carry the weight of that decision – the only one she could have made at the time. After all, James doesn’t stand the slightest chance of having a good childhood with her. In our eyes, there is a lot of heroism in this decision.
In Zambia, regular prenatal screening only exists on paper, so many women cannot prepare for bad news. James’ mum only found out about the cerebral palsy after giving birth. She had so little. If she could have, she would have given him the whole world, but in leaving, she gave him the chance to see at least a piece of it.
James came to us when he was less than two months old. This is the time when a baby should be lifting his head, but the toddler was not coping with this task. Each week more problems came to light – seemingly insurmountable. The sisters knew that miracles do happen, although they need a little help, so they organised rehabilitation right away. We write ‘a little’, but the effort was titanic – patiently, day after day, James learned to get better in touch with his own body.
And there seemed to be only marginal progress, until the day came, six months ago, when James raised his head. His inquisitive eyes scanned his surroundings, and before we knew it – he started sitting up. First with the support of his rehabilitation nurse, and yesterday on his own! All the hours of rehabilitation you have donated, all the adoptions, all the support has reached a culmination point where we can write: James has a chance to walk.
If only his mum could see him reaching another milestone today!
When you wonder if your support makes a difference, look at this wonderful, smiling boy who has been fighting every day for two years and is already getting closer to the finish line. He is getting closer to it with days of rehabilitation, which we can only organise thanks to you.
We know that James has the chance to run hundreds of kilometres around the Kasisi playground, together with the other kids. For this to happen, the little one needs your support. Will you lend him your hand in this fight?
The metal cots and worn-out mattresses have lulled generations of Kasisi kids to sleep, but are now in desperate need of replacement.
Our dream is to make the babies’ bedrooms look like a truly homely, safe environment that is associated with warmth. Will you help us make this dream a reality?