Aicha’s Journey to Straight Legs

Aicha is 6 years old and walking on bowed legs is all she has ever known. Her father, a rice farmer in Kibola, Guinea, struggles to support Aicha and her baby brother, especially after Aicha’s mother died three years ago.  

Bowlegs, often caused by malnutrition in countries like Guinea, is a condition that causes the legs curve outward at an extreme angle while the legs stay together. Without treatment, bowlegs cause a great deal of difficulty for children like Aicha as they grow, hindering their ability to walk, run, play and have a normal life.

When Aicha’s father heard that a hospital ship was coming to Guinea and offering free surgeries, he brought her to the Mercy Ships screening in Boke. It wasn’t long before this engaging little girl captured the attention of the screening team – running around the building on her bent legs, Aicha began making friends with everyone, from other patients to our volunteer nurses. Everyone at the screening was excited when Aicha was told she would receive surgery – but nothing could match Aicha’s smile, or her fathers relieved excitement.

Thanks to Mercy Ships partners, Aicha was given hope and healing and will no longer have to consider a future where she cannot walk.

After receiving free surgery, Aicha is now recovering and will continue to receive rehabilitation support while she learns to walk on her new straight legs!


Written By: Andrea Gilbert