Jamal’s miracle: Surgery to correct disfigured leg a success
Published: February 26, 2006 | 3630th good news item since 2003
If a miracle could happen any day and to anyone, little Jamal Stewart got lucky last year when he prayed for a surgery that would correct his disfigured right leg. Someone answered and now he feels normal and is doing the things he always wanted to.
When other children his age were enjoying the August holidays last year, 12-year-old Jamal was telling his story to Sunday Stabroek and opening up about how much he wanted to have “two good legs”. He told us how much he wanted to have a surgery done that would make him feel “normal” like the other children. He talked about how many fights he had been in because of his disfigured leg and expressed his desire for a normal life.
His story goes back to when he was still a baby and was involved in an accident. His left leg was broken and he was hospitalised briefly. Jamal’s grandmother and guardian, Pamela Morrison had related how his condition worsened after he was forced to wear a cast for several weeks.
She said the whole experience at the hospital was trying and when Jamal was discharged, he had difficulty with both feet. She said he was left walking on his toes and eventually, his right foot started to turn up. In the end, he had a disfigured right foot and leg and was in need of corrective surgery.
Jamal’s story was published last year July in the Sunday Stabroek and immediately after, readers called in to help with money for the surgery. A Good Samaritan who wishes to remain anonymous offered to pay for the surgery and additional hospital expenses.
On September 22, 2005, Jamal was admitted at the Davis Memorial Hospital. The next day, Dr Terrence Joseph, a local bone specialist, carried out the surgery. It was a difficult one because extensive damage had been done to Jamal’s right foot in the years that he had waited to have corrective surgery.
In a recent interview with Sunday Stabroek, Jamal said he experienced pain in the days that followed the surgery. He remained in hospital for a week and was sent home to recuperate for three months. After six weeks, he commenced physiotherapy at the West Demerara Regional Hospital, which is still continuing.
Jamal is now back at school after missing the first term at his new school, Stewartville Secondary. He said there was a lot of catching up to do but he managed and within a matter of weeks he was writing examinations and seeing wonderful results. With the exception of Spanish, Jamal said, his grades were excellent, which came as a shock to some teachers and students at the school.
Today, Jamal has shed the frustration he once lived with because of his disfigured leg and he is optimistic about his future.
“I am so happy. I used to get into fights for my foot and no one wanted to play with me because of it, but not anymore. I could stand up straight now,” the boy said.
He expressed gratitude to the people who offered to help him and was high in praise of the person who paid for his surgery. He said it was as though he was given a chance to live again.
These days, Jamal is just happy to be back at school and to stand straight but most importantly, he is happy to tell people he is normal.