Talia was born with complex bilateral clubfeet. She had casts for 13 weeks in Cape Town when she was a baby and wore her boots and bars until she was four years old. She had to have two tenotomies as a baby, and a tendon transfer as a five year old.
It’s been quite a journey for Talia, whose feet have been described as a “special case”, but, having approached each new session with courage and humour, she’s now eight years old with two perfect feet.
Talia loves gymnastics. “She’s learning how to do front somersaults,” says her mom, Kirsten. “She is always in motion, she is always springing off something, or swinging off something, or rolling off something.”
After a conversation with her mom about the difference between a birth defect and disability, and how deformities like clubfoot if left untreated lead to disabilities, Talia decided to donate her pocket money to STEPS to help another child with clubfoot.
“I showed her images of people in South Africa with untreated clubfoot and she was horrified to hear that in some cases these people would not be able to get to school, or run or walk, and how this would impact on their whole lives,” explains Kirsten. “She said that we can’t let that happen.”
Talia says: “I wanted to help another child with clubfoot to walk like I can.”
That child is Pholoso Ngwenya, a two year old who lives in Tsakane, Johannesburg. He is a busy little boy who loves running around and playing soccer with his big brothers and sisters. He is a very friendly little man who gives the best hugs.
He has received four casts so far after his clubfoot recurred and is making good progress. He goes to the clubfoot clinic at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital.
Talia’s donation will help STEPS to give Pholoso the support he needs to make sure his feet stay straight.
What would Talia say to Pholoso if she could meet him? “I would tell him to keep running!” she says.
Would you like to join Talia in donating to STEPS to help a child walk? You can do so here.