Worth It: Meet Chricel...October 16th, 2017
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For 16-year-old Chricel, healing has been a long time coming.
"I have been bugging my mom to get my feet treated since I was in elementary school. You know, there are a lot of bullies in elementary school, so it's really my dream to get this fixed because of the bullies. Since elementary, I've always wanted my feet straight. I was able to run, but you know deep within your heart there's something different about you. Sometimes it gets awkward to join a game. Last year, I had a teacher who told me to come here. Then, I told mom and she told me that we didn't have money to come here. That time, I was so excited, I cried in disappointment. Then, this year, we are finally here. I am so thankful that we are able to come here." –Chricel
Chricel certainly didn't let clubfoot slow her down while she’d been waiting for surgery. She loves to climb guava trees, ride bikes, and compete in beauty pageants. She also loves to help her family. Her mom, Melodina, says that Chricel is incredibly helpful around the house, especially when it comes to washing dishes and doing laundry. Her desire to help her family is also a big part of her career goals. Currently in 11th grade, Chricel wants to continue her studies and become a teacher. She says, “I’m the only girl out of six kids, so it will help all of us if I’m able to teach my siblings’ kids in the future as well.”
Chricel had surgery at the Tebow CURE Hospital in May. There’s always an anticipated degree of discomfort with any surgery, but even more so with a patient like Chricel, whose feet had spent 16 years in one direction and were put back together in a completely different direction.
The days following her surgery were hard, as was the news that she would still need to be in casts for another six weeks after her follow-up appointment in June. But, true to form, when asked how she felt about continuing on the long road to healing, she said, "I will fight, fight, fight!"
Thankfully, Chricel hasn’t had to go through this journey alone. She told us, "My classmates come to my house and bring me food to hang out with me. I had a hard time adjusting because I couldn't walk. I keep laying in bed and watching TV. Some people say, 'What happened to your feet?' They didn't know that I had my operation. Some are very happy and say, 'You can finally join whatever you want to join!' Some seem to be more excited than I am."
We wondered if Chricel would have any advice for her 6-year-old self with clubfoot now that she’s so close to being clubfoot-free. She said, "I will tell my 6-year-old self with clubfoot, ‘Goodbye!' This is truly a miracle of God. I will tell other kids about the hospital and tell them stories of hope. Then I will encourage them so that their dreams come true.”
It is a blessing to be able to come alongside kids, such as Chricel, and love on them and tell them how much they are worth.