TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Seven-year-old Nabon from Burkina Faso, Africa came to Toledo to live with a host family temporarily while he sought medical attention for an orthopedic issue with his legs. Since WTOL 11's Cristina Mutchler first introduced you to the young boy in February, he has come a long way. He had a successful surgery and finally had his leg casts removed on Thursday.
Thanks to ProMedica, Children's Medical Mission West, and host family, Dr. Kent and Gail Bishop, Nabon was able to have surgery for implants to correct the deformity in his legs. The one-time surgery will ensure that Nabon's legs remain straight and will also decrease the chances for bone breakage when he returns to Africa.
While the type of surgery is not uncommon, it was life-changing for Nabon.
"These are great cases. We love anybody that we can take care of, especially over a shorter period of time," said Dr. Aaron Buerk, the ProMedica Pediatric Physician who operated on Nabon. "We only have these kids for a limited amount of time, so while there's lots of kids who have chronic conditions that require long-term care, we love a child who we can see, we can do a single intervention over a single day and change their life in the long term. So, these situations are good ones and we love to be a part of them."
Nabon's host mother says she was amazed at the outcome.
"I think he's amazed too, because he keeps looking at (his legs) and touching them, and it's amazing," she said. "This is such a bittersweet day, because I know he's going to be leaving. He's just made our lives so great for this brief period of time, not just my life, but my friends and my family and everyone's gotten so attached to him. But I know that he misses his mom, he misses his dad and the life that he had. I don't think he's going to love leaving us, but I think he's going to love going home. I know I've done something for him, but he's done a lot more for us."
Nabon is expected to return to Africa in the coming months. Bishop also added that she looks forward to the day that Nabon will one day visit his family back here in Toledo, his second home.