The other day, we once again visited the children at Elatomsky orphanage in Ryazan region along with the orthopedic doctor. The purpose of the visit was a scheduled examination of all of the children participating in our Verticalization project. It was also necessary to remove a cast from a boy who was recently operated on in Moscow.
Valentin was so happy to see us. He is a remarkably social child! Even though he is primarily only able to make sounds, he tried ever so eloquently to speak with us. His post-operative condition is quite good. There is a high probability that, with time, the boy will be able to stand on his own two feet. This means he will start to develop in all other areas of his life. After all, restoring the body’s natural vertical position contributes to the development of intelligence, language, socialization, self-care, and comprehensive development.
Since undergoing an operation last year, Andrei’s legs have straightened out, and his feet are almost parallel with the floor. He has been involved in the project since 2008. In the past, he was called the “grasshopper boy”: his legs were very thin, he was only able to sit cross-legged, and he couldn’t stand on them, let alone walk. Now, he is able to walk with just a little support from one hand or with a cane. Based on his age, 19, he is already a young man. And he has started to behave just like a grown-up: nonchalantly pretending not to be interested in us, but still following us everywhere, and sheepishly smiling when we paid attention to him.
Roma has taken part in the project since 2012 and has also shown excellent results: the boy is able to get around on his own with a walker, has become totally independent, and is sharp as a tack.
Yana is an extraordinarily agile young girl with a lot of potential. She’s not content in just standing in a walker. She wants to walk while holding someone’s hand, crawl, roll over, and jump. She only just recently joined the project at the end of 2016. But during this time, she has already undergone a rehabilitation course at the clinic in Moscow, and the project’s assistants have been working with her on a daily basis at the orphanage. A decision has been made to provide her in the near future with orthopaedic devices that will help her to cope with her excessive joint flexibility.
We examined 16 children in total: each of them has their own successes and achievements. All of them are continuing to grow and put on weight: many of them have started to catch up to their respective developmental norms! Given skeletal growth and age-related hormonal changes, some of the kids will most likely require surgery. We have scheduled this group to be hospitalized in Moscow this autumn.
We were also able to meet the orphanage’s new director during this visit and we hope that we will be able to continue our project work there. After all, it is only all together – administration, government agencies, foundations, benefactors, doctors, teachers, and volunteers – that we can really help these children!
We are sincerely grateful to the doctors at the FBMSE clinic, the administration and staff at Elatomsky orphanage, the benefactors, and Renault Russia, who took care of our transport needs. Thanks to all of you, the children from Elatma continue to grow, develop, and live life to the fullest!