When Boniface Gladwel was two, he contracted Malaria and developed a severe fever. He was taken to a local clinic where, extremely unfortunately, he was given an injection which damaged the peroneal nerve (one of the nerves that supplies movement and sensation to the lower leg, foot and toes) causing foot drop. A few months later Boniface was referred to 500 miles by MAP and fitted with an ankle foot orthosis (AFO) to support his right foot. Of course, he quickly grew out of the AFO but his parents couldn’t afford to bring him back for a new one until quite recently.
Without the AFO, Boniface finds it difficult to lift his right foot which makes it tiring for him to walk even a short distance because he has to strain his hip flexor muscles to lift his leg high enough to prevent his foot dragging on the floor during the swing phase of walking. The AFO significantly reduces his energy consumption by keeping the foot in a neutral position when swinging the leg forward. Hopefully Boniface will also be more comfortable playing football with his friends at home and at school.
Although his AFO cost only £50, Boniface’s parents had to rely on One Smile to pay for it and supply him with a pair of shoes.