Five Minutes with Serah

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Tell us a bit about your life at home in Papua New Guinea?

I have three brothers and my mum and dad back at home. My dad and mum don’t go out to work but they are farmers and gardeners. We grow our own food. Even though we are poor we still have each other and that
means a lot to me.

I go to school even though I am disabled. I love going to school like every other kid. All the kids at my school know that I am disabled so they just do their own thing.

Why are you at Children First Foundation?
I am here because I need help from Children First Foundation and the doctors so they can fix my leg. I don’t have the big bone in my leg, and I need one.

Serah developed osteomyelitis when she was six. This is an infection of the
bone which can cause permanent damage when left untreated. As a result, part of Serah’s tibia was missing and she had significant bowing of the fibula on the affected leg.

What has your time at Children First Foundation been like?
It has been so wonderful here at The Retreat. I always missed home but sometimes it’s like I have a second family and lots of friends here at The Retreat.

What is your hope for the future after you leave Children First Foundation?
I hope the world is better for all the sick and disabled children all around the world who didn’t have help. I would like to help children like me who need help in the future. I always dream to be “a somebody” but when I come here and see people helping children, I thought to myself that I would like to help children like me. So, I would like to be a nurse that could help children and poor people.

“Love is everywhere, you just have to find it.” – Serah

Serah has been fortunate to be under the care of A/Prof Leo Donnan and the team at St Vincent’s Private. She has had three surgeries so far. The first in
July 2018, where a frame was placed on her leg to gradually line up her knee and ankle. The second surgery involved removing this frame and replacing it with a cast which enabled Serah to head home for a break. In August 2019, she had a six-hour operation to graft bone into her leg to replace some of the missing bone. Now back at home, Serah is enjoying walking around her village with her brothers with the assistance of an orthotic. A final surgery to lengthen her leg lies in the future.

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