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Nalugoye can now walk without support

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd September 2006 03:00 AM

Born without a right leg, eight-year-old Lillian Nalugoye now walks with the aid of a modern prosthesis, fitted to the stump through a socket, which fits snugly over it like a thimble on a thumb. The plastic socket is held with straps and a knee flex.

Born without a right leg, eight-year-old Lillian Nalugoye now walks with the aid of a modern prosthesis, fitted to the stump through a socket, which fits snugly over it like a thimble on a thumb. The plastic socket is held with straps and a knee flex.

By Flavia Nakagwa
Born without a right leg, eight-year-old Lillian Nalugoye now walks with the aid of a modern prosthesis, fitted to the stump through a socket, which fits snugly over it like a thimble on a thumb. The plastic socket is held with straps and a knee flex.
Nalugoye says she realised she was not like the rest of the children at school when they started making fun of her dilemma and calling her all sorts of names.
To Nalugoye’s parents, their last-born daughter was like a dream. Her father, Eddie Ntambaazi, says expressing their feelings to an empathetic listener was helpful.
“As we described our deep sense of grief to Action to Positive Change on People with Disabilities at Mulago Hospital last year, The New Vision also came in and published our daughter’s story.”
“When Lillian was born, we were thrust into the ‘disability world’ and were not able to prepare ourselves for her disability. It caused obstacles and heartache,” Ntambaazi says.
As she began to crawl with a lot of difficultly and pain, tears often rolled down our cheeks. We always felt like lifting her, but she had to go through it by herself.
Ntambaazi says Nalugoye had a challenge learning how to walk. She struggled to cling onto wall, tables and chairs for support. Her parents got her crutches.
“Although the crutches were helping her, she still needed more support. We are thankful to The New Vision, which published an article last year calling for help from well wishers and my daughter now has an artificial limb.” he says.
Beaming with joy, Ntambaazi says well wishers fundraised for Nalugoye’s artificial limb. Companies and individuals including the governor Bank of Uganda Emmanuel Mutebile, Juliana Sekiwano in London, sister Betty of Katalemwa, WBS TV, Radio Simba, director Rainbow International and the orthopaedics team at Hotel Equatoria, among others contributed towards Nalugoye’s medical bills and got her an artificial limb.
Ntambaazi says: “I dedicated my life and time to seeing my daughter through such a difficult moment when she had to learn how to walk with the artificial limb during the three months of review, practice and watching other radiologists perform obstetric ultrasound at Hotel Equatoria. Nalugoye’s parents say adjusting to the artificial limb was hard for their daughter. When she tried and fell, they felt sorry for her, but she had to learn to walk by herself.
“It was so heavy that I had to gather a lot of strength to lift it and be able to move. Many times, I would fall and if there was no one to help, I would struggle to get up,” she says.
Nalugoye adds that it is easier to walk on stairs diagonally, but getting into and out of cars is hard. She says she has to be assisted to sit on a boda-boda because her leg doesn’t have the strength to support her weight.
“My artificial limb has become shorter than my left leg, so I find difficulty while walking,” she adds.
Nalugoye’s mother says she has watched her daughter’s balance improve, but there are still some trying moments including running, jumping and turning quickly where she faltters and wobbles.
“Sometimes she falls, although I’ve not seen her do that in a couple of weeks. When she falls, she shows no sign of discomfort or shame. She gets up and continues with whatever she was doing,” her mother says. Senior orthopaedic technologist of Orthotech and Physical Rehabilitation International, Dr Isaac Mutebi Lukanga, says, children are rarely born without one or both hands or legs.
More often, some of the causes are due to miscarriages. Others are congenital and hereditary, although some children also lose a limb because of accidents.
Such limbs must be cut off because of advanced bone infections or dangerous tumours like cancer, but Nalugoye’s situation rarely occurs.
Ends

Nalugoye can now walk without support

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