Mater Children’s Private Brisbane runs Queensland’s only private Clubfoot Clinic and for three month old Tiberius Kodor from Papua New Guinea (PNG), treatment at the clinic has given him the opportunity to live a normal life.
In clubfoot, the foot appears twisted and can even look as if it's upside down. Despite its appearance, clubfoot itself doesn't cause any discomfort or pain and treatment can vary from stretching to casting and surgery in severe cases.
Mum Samantha searched the internet after her son was born with two club feet and with limited access to specialised care in PNG, the family knew their son would have great difficulty with mobility in the future.
“The service provided in Port Moresby’s General Hospital would take six to eight months to complete whereas it only took six to eight weeks at Mater,” Samantha said.
Clubfoot Clinic Physiotherapist Tracey Bulow said getting the family to Australia to self-fund their son’s treatment took some time.
“There was a lot of communication, collaboration and development of treatment plans for Tiberius to access our Clinic,” Tracey said.
“There was concern that without intervention he would not walk normally,” she said.
Over a nine week period from April 2018, Tiberius received five weeks of casting. Orthopaedic Specialist Dr Ivan Astori then performed a bilateral achilles tenotomy, lengthening the tendons to provide normal length and movement. After three weeks recovery, Tiberius started wearing his boots and bar splints.
The boots and bar splints critical to treatment success were generously donated by a family whose son had completed treatment.
Tracey said Tiberius has now completed treatment and has feet that look like any other baby.
“Tiberius will have the full capacity to walk, run and play like his friends and family,” Tracey said.
“It’s a great feeling to be a part of something which changes the lives of children for the better, both locally and abroad,” she said.
Samantha said it was a blessing to have people like Tracey and Clubfoot Clinic Nurse Jane Mills.
“If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have made the trip to Mater with my son,” she said.
“Tracey was the one who called me and gave me a detailed explanation of what my son’s condition was all about–and when she told me they could have my son treated within a period of six to nine weeks that’s when I knew I had to visit that clinic.
“It was such a great pleasure to meet with Tracey and Jane, they have really helped my son and treated him like their own.
“He now has a really straight foot and will live a normal life and we are grateful to the team for all the work they have put into our son,” Samantha said.
The Clubfoot Clinic is part of Mater Children’s Private Brisbane.