lifestyle

Teenager born with knee bent backwards can now walk to school after life-changing surgery


Marie’s family thought her condition would hold her back (Picture: SWNS)

A teenager born with a condition that made her knee bend backwards can now walk to school.

Marie Madeleine, 13, developed the unusual disability as a child. The condition saw her knee bending the wrong way and as she grew the problem became worse. 

Marie was forced to limp to school each day and often struggled to keep up with her pals.

Her family hoped and prayed for a ‘miracle’ and worried about her leg holding her back from living a normal lie. 

Thankfully, Marie is now walking with confidence after a hospital ship docked off the coast of her home country, Senegal, gave her life-changing surgery.

‘We love God. God has healed me, and His plan for me is to walk like this now,’ Marie says. 

The issue was caused by an abnormally tight muscle contracture in her leg. This then made her knee hyperextend backwards. 

Marie Madeleine before surgery with her grandmother (Picture: SWNS)

The limp left her in pain and while Marie remained positive, her grandmother Adama worried it would affect her life long-term. 

‘My hope was for her to be like every other girl with a backpack going to school,’ Adama explained. 

‘But we couldn’t afford surgery, so we just waited for a miracle.’

Luckily, a miracle did come. A neighbour told the family that Mercy Ships, a charity which runs hospital ships, was porting a boat just 100 miles away. 

Marie Madeleine walking for the first time after surgery with Suzette Griffioen, physical therapist (Picture: SWNS)

Her surgery was scheduled quickly and thankfully, was a success. 

In the aftermath, Marie required hours of intense rehabilitation on board the ship to help her get back on her feet again, as her knee muscles had not been used properly for 12 years.

Yet, Marie powered on and aimed to walk to her classroom with her friends once again. 

Several months on from her surgery, Marie had strong, straight legs and was ready to leave the ship. 

When asked about her transformation, Marie said: ‘God has healed me.’

Her grandmother Adama added: ‘I am so happy to see her going to school with straight legs. Everything is okay now!’

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Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.


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