MUSC, local organizations help 11-year-old child from Ghana learn to walk

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A little boy from Ghana is defying the predictions of doctors who told him he could not walk.

Saviour Mbamba has been participating in physical therapy at MUSC. The 11-year-old has cerebral palsy and has had trouble using his legs.

But that hasn’t stopped him from trying.

Saviour was living in an orphanage in Northern Ghana because his village didn’t understand his medical condition.

It was at the orphanage that he met Joan Tucker, a retired nurse from Charleston.

“There were some concrete ditches around the orphanage, and he would wedge himself in this ditch, to try and stand up” said Tucker. “And he would wave to me and say,'Mama Joan I’m standing.'”

Saviour had little use of his legs and could only crawl when he met Tucker.

Tucker found out about the orphanage by listening to a presentation given by a nun who worked at the orphanage. That’s when she decided to help.

Tucker found a specialist in limb deformities at Shriners Hospital in Greenville, where specialists agreed to perform an operation to correct Saviour’s legs.

Saviour had his surgery two years ago.

It was meant to lengthen his legs, just enough for him to sit comfortably in a wheelchair, but Saviour had other plans.

He was able to undergo physical therapy at MUSC in Charleston and was determined to walk.

Saviour’s smile and determination captured the attention of others and made them willing to help. He has also been taking riding lessons at the Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding.

Instructors at CATR said the horseback riding helps with his core strength and could aid in his ability to walk on his own someday.

Saviour will be going back to Ghana and visiting the orphanage, before returning to Charleston next summer.

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