Prinscio was born with bilateral club feet—a severe deformity that is common in Madagascar where treatment is hard to come by. He was two when he took his first steps, walking on the tops of his twisted feet—but he was ashamed of how it caused him to move and hated the stares of strangers.
His parents couldn’t afford the surgery required to heal Prinscio and for the first two years of his life they exhausted the little resources they had on “healers” who couldn’t help. They became deeply frustrated and sad at their inability to cure their son, who remained delighted by life despite the shame he often felt about his gait. His mother considered his awkward movement as a blessing. “He smiles with his whole body,” she says.
When Prinscio was three, his parents learned that Mercy Ships was in Madagascar performing the exact treatment that their son desperately needed. They were overwhelmed with joy when they learned the surgery would be free.
At Prinscio’s first appointment, volunteer physiotherapists explained that his club feet could be corrected by plaster casts, minor surgery, exercises and the use of night-time braces.
The bright little three-year-old became excited about the potential of walking normally. “Mamma, when my feet are fixed, I will ride a bike and play football,” Prinscio enthusiastically exclaimed. “I will be like other kids! Soon I will be able to ride a bike and to play soccer!”
After eight sessions and a series of eight double leg casts, Prinscio underwent a minor surgery called a tenotomy (tendon release) to attain the last degrees of correction in his feet.
As the day approached to finally remove his casts, Prinscio was beyond excited. His mother overheard him talking to one of his friends, “Tomorrow when I come home, my feet will be just like yours!”
Today, Prinscio stands confidently, flat on the soles of his beautifully restored feet.