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Clubfoot in Kenya: “My Mommy Instincts Helped me Save my Daughter’s Feet” -Mary Onguko

The beautiful Mary Onguko-Wanyonyi.

By Maryanne W. Waweru l maryanne@mummytales.com

Mary Onguko-Wanyonyi is a Kenyan mother living and working in Nairobi. Today, I share her story on an experience that she and her family went through regarding her daughter’s clubfoot condition.

“When I finally boarded the plane to take my daughter to the US for her clubfoot treatment review, that was when I knew that 2016 was an anointed year for my family.

My 8-year-old daughter Serena had a 100 percent possibility of clubfoot recurrence by the age of 10 if the condition was not arrested immediately.

You see, Serena was born with a bilateral clubfoot, meaning that it was present in both feet. Clubfoot describes a range of foot abnormalities usually present at birth (congenital) in which the baby’s foot is twisted out of shape or position (source).

Even though Serena had undergone several medical interventions with regard to her clubfoot, including surgery, local doctors had advised us to wait until she was 10 years old to see the outcome.

My mommy instincts however dictated otherwise, as I didn’t seem that very convinced about waiting till she was 10 years. This then led me to engage in lots and lots of research both locally and internationally, until we eventually landed into the able hands of Dr. Mathew Dobbs, who is one of the world’s best renowned and most sought-after clubfoot doctor.

Mary with her two children Serena and Baraka.
Mary with her two children Serena and Baraka during thier stay in the US as Serena underwent medical treatment for her clubfoot.

Amazingly, Dr. Dobbs not only offered a free review of Serena, but also linked my family to the best Kenyan community in the US –Vitendo 4 Africa.

We got to not only travel for the treatment -which was successful in leaps and bounds, but we also got to be on holiday for close to 3 months (talk of visiting Chicago and being absolutely wowed by the Willis Tower).

I am most thankful to God for life, good health and the gift of this life-changing opportunity for our daughter Serena. By the way, it turned out that waiting until Serena was 10 years old would have been too late. I’m glad I trusted my instincts as they led me to the right path.

It has really been a journey for our family, but in all things we have always given and continue to give thanks.

Mary and her family enjoying a moment at the Willis Tower.
Mary and her family enjoying a moment at the Willis Tower.

I would also like to thank:

  • Dr. Mathew Dobbs for his selfless love and care not only to our daughter, but to my whole family.
  • The Ronald McDonald House in St. Louis for being our home away from home.
  • Vitendo 4 Africa and the Kenyan community in St. Louis for taking care of us fully (food, trips, love and prayers) while in the US.
  • Geoffrey Soyiantet (President of Vitendo 4 Africa) for being there for me and the family every single day of our 3 month stay there.
  • My family: the Onguko’s and Wafula’s for being my pillar and mark of strength during my most trying and weak moments. It would really have been difficult without their support.
  • My house girl Auntie Hellen for not only keeping us in prayers but also ensuring that our house was well maintained during the three months we were away.
  • My beloved friends and relatives for their love and support –that was so generously shown to my family
  • My employer for embracing my absence from work with so much ease and allowing me to work on flexi times, and also for graciously welcoming me back to the office upon my return.
  • My husband for holding my hands through it all with such reassuring love

    Mary and her husband.
    Mary and her husband. When a picture speaks more than a thousand words.

 To all parents, I want to encourage you to continue holding on to hope, even when all things look bleak. God will always have your back. I have seen Him come through for me, Serena and my family, and I know He will do the same for you too. Never lose sight of your faith in Him. Indeed, as for me and my house, we will always serve the Lord.”

Related Post: The Fashionable Kids: Serena and Baraka


Thank you Mary for sharing your story, and we wish the best for Serena and your family. Want to know more about clubfoot? Read here.

Also Read:  “When Safari First Stood on His Own at Two Years, We Danced all Day!”

Do you have an encouraging experience that you would like to share with other parents? Email me on maryanne@mummytales.com

Mummy Tales by Maryanne W. Waweru is a platform dedicated to empowering its readers on different aspects of womanhood and motherhood. Read more motherhood experiences of Kenyan moms here. Connect with Mummy Tales on: FACEBOOK l YOU TUBEINSTAGRAM l TWITTER



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


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