Fionalyn Aquino, a child who previously suffered from the medical condition known as “Clubfoot,” paid a courtesy call to Mayor WIN as a gesture of gratitude for the medical assistance extended to her by the Local Chief Executive.
Accompanied by her mother, Ofelia Aquino, the two-and-a-half year old child is all smiles as the Mayor welcomed her to his office.
Ms. Dorothy Evangelista, head of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) helped facilitate the meeting. “We first met her on February 2011 through her sister, a deaf-mute, whom the CSWDO had been providing assistance as well,” she said.
“Clubfoot” or congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV) is a congenital deformity involving one or both feet. It is when the foot turns inward and downward making it difficult for a sufferer to walk. Parents may know immediately when a child has a “clubfoot,” especially, when the pregnant mother underwent ultrasound. In Fionalyn’s case, however, it was discovered upon her birth.
“We noticed her legs while we were visiting her sister, we took her to the Philippine Orthopedic Center for initial medical examinations.” Ms. Evangelista said. “However, the expensive medical treatments proved to be too heavy for us, but it did not stop us from helping her.”
Through its various linkages, the CSWDO found a way to augment the costs of medication through tie-ups with the Philippine Band of Mercy, a private non-stock, non-profit foundation established in 1937 and since then providing free medical and surgical services to underprivileged children born with cleft lip/palate deformities and disfigured indigents.
Treatment began in March of this year by placing a cast on Fionalyn’s feet on a weekly basis. After a few months, the progress became noticeable as the enlarged lower leg gradually decreased its mass. Currently, Fionalyn is supported by braces on her feet.
In a dialogue with the Mayor, Mrs. Aquino, expressed her deep gratitude to Mayor WIN for making her daughter’s life closest to being normal again. “Hindi po matatawaran ng kahit ano ang nagawa ninyo para sa anak ko at sa pamilya namin. Sa tulong na ibinigay ninyo, nakasisiguro kami na si Fionalyn ay mabubuhay ng maayos at masaya gaya ng mga normal na bata. (What you did for my daughter and our family is immeasurable. With the help you have given us, we are now assured that like all other kids, our child will be able to live a happy, normal life.)”, she said.
The Mayor spent a moment with the child and gave her a special gift. He was likewise amazed by Fionalyn whom he described as “bibo” (witty).
“It may take years for the braces to be removed. We are glad that we have started the efforts at an early phase. By the time she goes to school, she would be walking normally like the rest of kids her age,” Ms. Evangelista concluded.
Incidentally, the Valenzuela City, through the CSWDO and the Disabled Persons Affairs Committee (DPAC), commemorates with the entire nation the 33rd National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week (NDPR) from July 17-23.
In partnership with the Valenzuela Persons with Disabilities Federation, Incorporated (VPDF), several national and local activities are lined up for participation by Valenzuelano PWDs, which range from recreational and sports activities to educational and entertainment, as well as, livelihood activities.