Rebecca Herbert

Daisy's 5k fun run!

Fundraising for Feet First
raised of £1,000 target
by 58 supporters
Feet First

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1112464


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Please sponsor Daisy’s 5k fun run as she turns 5 to celebrate her coming out of boots and bar after 5 years doing so well wearing them every night!

When Daisy was 20 weeks old they picked up on the scan that she had bilateral talipes or clubfoot as it’s more commonly known. 1 baby in every 1000 is born with it but the cause is unknown. At first we were so upset and worried about how it would effect her development and questions went through our heads like- would she learn to crawl and walk ok? How would it impact her as she grew older?

When she was born her gorgeous tiny feet were turned in and upwards (see photos above) and at just 8 days old the amazing ponsetti treatment started. Her feet were manipulated by a physiotherapist and held into place by a plaster cast in order to change their position each time. The staff at the hospital were amazing, so reassuring. I still remember how strange it was picking her up with these cold, heavy legs hanging down which was the plaster casts. She clung to me and found it hard every week. We all did and there were lots of tears all round. Nobody wants to see their baby going through this at such a young age. But after a couple of days she soon bounced back- she got used to the heavy casts and was alert and happy. When we went back a week later and they removed the casts we could hardly believe how effective the treatment was as her feet had moved into a more normal position facing forward already! We were so relieved. 8 more weeks of casts went on and off each week, with more manipulation each time. Then on the last cast she had a tenotomy, where they cut the achilles tendon, Daisy was so brave and even though she cried and cried I kept telling her and myself that it would all be worth it when she's old enough to run and play in the garden. 

The next stage was the boots and bar- I was dreading it as we had somehow all got used to the casts. Daisy had learned to lift her legs independently of each other, now with the boots and bar it was all change as she would have to learn to lift both legs at the same time. This was a huge challenge for all of us and the hardest part for me as she just literally clung to me and cried for the first three nights when she first wore them. I had been told not to take them off and I had to use every part of my willpower to keep them on knowing that it would help in the long run. It took much longer for her to get used to this stage but after a few weeks she had learned to lift the bar up with both of her legs together and was banging the bar down and giving us all a fright! She wore these for 3 months and they had to be on for 23 hours a day, giving us an hour off to bath her each night. Then it was freedom time in the day and she started to crawl, we cried so many happy tears when she finally walked and now she is desperate to do a cartwheel! So all she has ever known at night time since she was a baby is her boots and bar. She has slept in them every single night for 5 years and has coped so well as it's all she's ever known. There has been quite a few nights over the last two years when she has got upset and has wanted to take the boots and bar off. However, when we've explained to her why she has to wear them to help her feet grow the right way so she can do everything she wants to in the day she has accepted and understood this and it has made us so incredibly proud of her. Since the start of her treatment as a a baby all the way through up until now she has been so resilient and brave. There is nothing that she can’t do now and is always doing acrobatics whenever she gets a free moment!

When I recently told Daisy that she was coming to the end of wearing her boots and bar I asked her what she would like to do with her old boots. She said ‘maybe we could pass them onto a child in Africa’. I’d told her before how other children born with talipes in certain parts of the world weren’t as lucky as she had been. 

Taken from the global clubfoot initiative:
‘Over 90% of children with clubfoot are born in countries where they have no or limited access to treatment. More than one million children cannot walk properly as a result of untreated clubfoot. Clubfoot is one of the leading causes of physical disability in the world. 

For people living with uncorrected clubfoot walking can be painful and extremely difficult. People living with disability in lower income countries are at higher risk of discrimination, physical and sexual abuse, neglect, illiteracy and inequality in almost all aspects of society. Disability due to clubfoot also presents an economic burden on families and societies due to lost opportunities in education and employment.

The good news is that it can be effectively treated with the minimally invasive Ponseti method, the gold-standard treatment for clubfoot that is well suited to low resource environments. The problem of untreated clubfoot is one we can solve.’ 

‘We invite others to join us in our vision of a world where every child with clubfoot can walk and run free from disability. By 2030 we want at least 70% of children born with clubfoot in developing countries to access the treatment they need to walk and run free for the rest of their lives’.

The charity involved with this work is Feet First Worldwide.
‘Feet First Worldwide was founded in 2004 by Blackpool Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr. Steve Mannion, with the aim of raising money to fund orthopaedic education and training in the less developed world, with a focus on improved club foot treatment in children. The charity ensures that 100% of all funds raised directly benefits orthopaedic care in Malawi and other less developed countries where Steve carries out his work.

Club foot is a condition which makes walking impossible. Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Steve Mannion leads a dedicated team of volunteers in the UK and in Africa, visiting Malawi throughout the year.

The surgery undertaken restores the ability to walk. We depend on help from people just like you to improve the lives of children who other wise would literally be on their hands and knees.’

Daisy’s 5k fun run will be done in order to raise money for Feet First Worldwide to help those children who haven’t been as lucky as her. When I think of all the amazing treatment she has received and how relatively easy it has been to straighten her feet, it should be available for every child born with clubfoot anywhere in the world.

Daisy and I will be doing the 5k run in Roundhay park on the weekend of the 14th November, I will post some photos once we've completed it! We hope she we will be signed off from the consultant the following week in time for her turning 5 years old. What a moment it will be when she can walk up to bed without her boots and bar on and sleep all snuggly feeling her toes on the sheets for the first time! Then waking up in the morning and getting out of bed all by herself, hopefully not too early!!

About the charity

Feet First

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1112464
Feet First was founded in 2003 by Blackpool Victoria Hospital Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Steve Mannion. It's aims are to treat clubfoot in the developing world. It currently focuses its resources on two countries Malawi in Central Africa, and Laos in South East Asia. Please see the website for more information!

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