Written by: Rosemary McAleer

In the Keogh house there is a child who is almost 2 years old with the biggest smile and the most infectious personality I have ever come across. He is Lawrence and he has Spina Bifida. Lawrence had surgery as an infant to remove the protrusion on his back. At the moment he has very little if any power in his lower extremities and marked weakness in his right side. He has few sounds but recognises familiar words. Lawrence is very prone to chest infections probably related to his poor swallow. His mama from the Keogh house, Mama Lucy, told me that when he first came he had no movement, did not react either to physical or emotional stimulus. He was very difficult to feed and really was a very unwell baby. He then contracted meningitis and I think she didn’t believe he would live. But like all the mama’s in the Good Life Orphanage she took this child, cared and nursed and worked around the clock with him. Lawrence is now able to sit up for short periods unaided, reach out and attempt to crawl. He can inter-act with the other children and loves their attention. Lawrence was able to attend the nursery which was introduced by Lorraine while we were there. What an achievement.

Here is Lawrence the day he arrived @ The GLO with the Carr-Deed Family and his young mother Esther
Baby Lawrence's 1st Day @ GLO

Lawrence receives physiotherapy twice a week and I had the privilege of watching this young occupational therapist( an occupational therapist in Kenya is trained in physiotherapy ) at work. He was methodical, patient and very caring. For one hour Charles talked me through the various interventions he was doing with Lawrence and explained them all in great detail. He is convinced that with the on-going stimulation Lawrence is receiving he will be able to have some sensation in his lower extremities within the next few months and from then on he will regain sensation in his legs. Wouldn’t this be wonderful. Please God he is right. It was amazing to watch and young Lawrence took it in his stride. The final exercise was unbelievable. I watched as Lawrence was laid flat on a low table and very gently he was tied to this table with a broad length of material. Once they were happy that he was secure they stood the table up allowing Lawrence to gently rest his feet on the ground. He was kept in this position for about 10 minutes. He was very relaxed about this. I would love to have taken a video of the whole session. I am sure Paul Mc Dermot a nephew with expertise in child physiotherapy would have been very interested. Perhaps this could happen.

Lawrence during pysico


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