2016 - 2017
We have told you the story of Francesca, one of the many abandoned children who have been welcomed in the Pediatric Hospital of Kimbondo, near Kinshasa.
Francesca is a 4-and-a-half-year-old little girl born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She was abandoned at birth by her parents who were convinced they had engendered a monster to eliminate. Indeed, Francesca suffers serious malformations: she has no arms and is lacking a leg.
Thanks to the visa granted her for specialist medical treatment, in July 2016 Francesca was taken to Italy by Father Hugo Rios Diaz, a missionary priest and co-founder, together with Laura Perna, of the Pediatric Hospital of Kimbondo. She was received by our Foundation and later transferred to Alessandria, where she was entrusted to the loving care of Ilaria Pernigotti, a doctor at the Piedmontese city’s Hospital Trust, who satisfies her every need.
After numerous X-rays and orthopaedic examinations, last September Francesca was admitted to Genoa’s Gaslini Hospital and submitted to a lengthy and difficult surgical procedure performed by Dror Paley, an eminent specialist who came from the United States.
A reconstructive technique was applied to her only existing limb to enable Francesca to dispose of a solid leg on which to load all her bodyweight prior to the subsequent application of a prosthesis on her missing leg.
The surgical operation only marked the beginning of a difficult trajectory aimed at making Francesca’s dream come true: to be like all the other children.
Francesca’s story deeply touched everybody involved and started off a big solidarity contest.
Thanks to the great commitment of the Aquero Association of Alessandria and to the private donations that support Swiss Re, we managed to raise the funds necessary to finance the surgery and the physiotherapy which enabled Francesca to walk towards her future on her own feet.