It’s been a while since I’ve written an update about Fred. Among all of our children he is the one most people request updates by name. He is the only Kirabo Seeds family member who as been with us from the very beginning of Kirabo Seeds. He was a part of the other group we first worked with in Kyengera. He has a long history with us and for over a year we were refused permission by his pastor to help him. Last summer we returned and asked again hoping the emotion had diffused and they would think more of the boy than their pride. So we brought Fred home to the family.
He was so weak he couldn’t do anything for himself. We simply fed him for a couple months so he could gain his strength and heal from malnutrition. He needed fulltime assistance to wash, use the toilet and dress. (Thanks Robert and Phiona!) In the fall he said he was ready for treatment. He wants to be able to walk and one day kick a soccer ball. He loves to follow “football”. Thanks to the generosity of supporters we are able to take him to an international orthopedic hospital for treatment.
We had started his treatment long ago with these doctors, but Fred’s pastor refused us to continue it because he said, “it was making the boy worse”. When we returned this time to the same hospital the doctors were so angry with us and refused to listen to the reasons why he had gone so far backwards. Phiona was ashamed with the abuse they gave her even though it wasn’t in our power to intervene.
Fred endured a couple months of his legs in casts to straighten them out progressively. Last week he was put into braces. All of this straightening process is so painful for him it causes me to doubt the procedure. Maybe I think they are moving too fast for him. All I know is the boy is in terrible pain with this treatment. Not one doctor would appreciate a “know-it-all American” storming in telling them what to do with Fred. I stay out of it but I am concerned. Christopher is going to watch this process and keep me informed because he too has questions.
When we returned from our laundry expedition at the well Fred was on the ground with many big boys around helping with his leg therapy. They have to remove his braces and open and close the joints of his legs. The boy writhes in pain and his face contorts with agony. It breaks my heart. It concerned Kira. She sat in Phiona’s lap and watched the therapy with great compassion. The older boys were fanning his face with books to alleviate the heat rising from the stress.
Three times a day Fred has to get out of his wheel chair and stand up for ten minutes. At the end of the ten minutes his upper body is shaking and his face looks like he can hardly take any more. Kenny is his coach and cheers him on. He also has to practice using his new crutches. When we first met him long ago he was on crutches and he moved so well he could get himself to school a mile away so he could attend first grade (when he was 15) That’s when Fred first stole my heart.
He has a long road ahead of him to reach his goals. We as a family and team are willing to work hard and support him. We hope Fred becomes independent and able to work at a job and serve in church.
Jjajja LaTorre helped him read some books yesterday. He’s still at a first grade level. He can understand spoken English fairly well and can respond in English. At this point it won’t be appropriate to send him to school. We are going to tutor him at home. This is a great interest of Christopher’s. When the children return to school in February he will work with Fred on basic reading, writing and arithmetic. Once he assess’ his needs we will try to bring resources for Fred’s education.
If you would like to help us serve Fred please contact us. His physical needs are great, his emotional needs require prayer but I assure you he’s spiritually committed to Jesus as his Savior. He is a great drummer, loves praise and worship and has a good understanding of the bible lessons. He participates in devotion with mature insight. We honestly are so thankful God has allowed Fred to be a member of the Kirabo Seeds family.