Five Minutes with Sonia

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Tell us a bit about your life at home?

Sonia on arrival at The Retreat

Life in Papua New Guinea is financially very hard, especially when you are a very big family and all of them are dependent on only one member of the family. I come from a family of seven including my parents and four siblings. I am third born in my family. My dad is a simple fire inspector and my mum is a very hard-working housewife who supports my dad with anything she could for the upbringing of the family.

Regardless of the hardships, my parents were able to take me to the hospital when I was diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis (which is an infection of the bone) in the left femur at the age of seven. We went to and fro from the hospital until they finally removed the infected bone in 2011. But it still didn’t help me as a new femur started growing. When I walked long distances it was very painful. The last words I had from my doctor were that they couldn’t do anything further, and they even said that my leg wouldn’t grow normally and that it will be short as I grow up.

Despite my condition, I still walk to school using crutches because I believe that getting a better education will get me a better job. I used to hope that a getting a good job would make me able to travel in the future to a more advanced country with full resources and technology to make me walk normally again. Now I am having my surgery I can focus on other things I can do in my future.

What brought you to Children First Foundation?

Now that I am here in Melbourne with the great support and help of Children First Foundation to receive a surgery. The surgery will lengthen my leg to the normal length as the other.

Tell us a bit about what your time at CFF has been like?

Sonia with her Doctor, Mr Minoo Patel

My time at Children First Foundation has been the great because I had to get to know children from different nationalities. The staff and volunteers are super nice. I enjoy swimming in the pool, singing and watching movies with the team and helping out in the kitchen. 

What does The Retreat mean to you?

The Retreat is my-home-away-from-home. It is a place full of love and care. A very peaceful place of true healing.  

What are your hopes for the future after you leave CFF?

After I leave Children First Foundation I am hoping to go back to school and finish my education and then to become a doctor if it is God’s will. Because I want to help similar people like me and to give them the hope that has been given to me.


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