A teenager who was called a ‘witch’ due to her severe bow legs finally gets a life-changing operation and can now stand tall. Julienne, 14, from Cameroon was just a baby when her mother, Veronique, noticed her legs were bending abnormally.
According to Metro UK, she was formally diagnosed with bow legs, a condition that causes the knees to grow painfully apart.
Julienne said, ‘I used to ask God, ‘Why me, out of all the people in the world?’”.
Walking was a challenge and on the days Julienne couldn’t ride public transport she had to walk to school.
It would take almost two hours of painstaking effort under the sweltering sun to walk to school.
She was even rejected by relatives due to her condition and struggled to even stand sometimes.
Julienne received life-changing treatment by international charity Mercy Ships, who were able to straighten out Julienne’s legs and give her a normal life. Her family couldn’t afford to pay for an operation, but thankfully the charity covered the costs.
She added that ‘I wished I could tell people, but I kept it quiet because I didn’t want people to laugh at me if it didn’t work.’
After a successful operation, Julienne faced yet more hard work with physiotherapist Meg Crameri.
Meg said, ‘It was challenging at times. There were tears and sweat, but it’s obviously all worth it in the end. She’s brave and a fighter.’ It took several months before Julienne was given the green light to return home.
Veronique said, “Before, I was proud of my daughter – every responsible mother loves her child, no matter what their situation is. But now, I am prouder of her than ever because of how hard she has worked and the things she’s able to accomplish.”
When Julienne looks at photos of herself before the surgery, she doesn’t even recognise herself.
She’ll always say, ‘This isn’t me anymore – these aren’t my legs!
“That girl is not me.
“I am so happy. God has sent Mercy Ships to Cameroon. It shows me that God has a special love for me. I would have stayed like that for the rest of my life without Mercy Ships.”