From the moment we met Dorcas, she captured our hearts.
A wide-eyed, seven-year-old, Dorcas hardly spoke a word, while staring intently at a group of strangers gathered around her. An unfortunate incident with a scorpion caused her right foot to become infected. The foot was eventually amputated through the ankle joint. Dorcas’ amputation is known as a Syme’s—which removes the problem area of the foot, while leaving enough of the limb to allow balance and “weight-bearing.”
What She Walked In On Was Dangerous!
Someone made a prosthesis for Dorcas prior to our arriving in Ghana, but it was too small; and her limb didn’t fit all the way into the socket. This ill-fitting device caused her to walk “crab-legged” and put her at high risk of snapping her right tibia. Standing With Hope prosthetist, Randy Roberson, cast Dorcas for a new socket. For safety, we kept her old one and provided her with crutches. Two days later, she returned to be fitted with her new prosthesis.
A New Leg Wasn’t All She Needed
In addition to arriving in a poorly fitting prosthetic limb, Dorcas’s shoes also presented a problem. On her prosthetic foot, the shoe was several sizes too large. Furthermore, she wore an old sandal on her remaining foot. Sandals and prosthetics don’t often mix well, so I headed to the market to purchase shoes and socks for Dorcas. Carrying her prosthetic foot to make sure I purchased the correct size, I received more than a few stairs from the merchants in their booths! We fitted Dorcas with shoes, socks, and a new prosthetic limb that allowed her to walk home a few hours later without crutches—standing straight and walking safely!
Listen to the story recently shared on our radio show.
Walking for Life!
We’ve treated Dorcas for ten years and enjoy watching her grow into a beautiful young woman. Equipping her with purchased supplies and recycled prosthetic components that Standing With Hope supporters sponsored in June 2017, Dorcas continues showing the confidence and poise she’s acquired from using a well-fitted, quality prosthetic limb. (picture taken 6/26/17 in Accra)
It’s difficult to imagine how different her life would be without this limb. Dorcas’ journey demonstrates that it’s not just a one-time event, but a life-time commitment to these patients. We not only seek to meet their prosthetic needs, but continuing pointing them, along with their families, to Christ.
If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? James 2:15-16 ESV
A Ministry That’s Personal
Following the amputation of her own legs, decades ago, this ministry remains Gracie’s vision.
You can see more of Gracie’s story in the video to the left, set to a duet she recently recorded with her friend, Joni Eareckson Tada.