My name is Helena Owiredu and I come from Ghana. I am 30 years old and am the first born of my six siblings. My childhood development happened to be normal like everyone else. Happily growing up and experiencing life while schooling, l began feeling pain and weakness in my lower lumber at the age of 13. I would fall all of a sudden while walking to school. I was about to start Junior High School in very good health when one day l woke up with severe pain. As usual l took some pain killers hoping it would get better but this time it got worse. Soon, my condition became serious and I had to stop schooling for six (6) years. I was battling to survive as my chest and back started to deform with growth. I had to be carried to experience movement because my legs and hands were so weak. I couldn’t even support myself in a chair. I had been taken to various prayer camps but to no avail. My father kept encouraging me but we all began to lose hope.
One day as l sat behind the television watching a documentary, my eyes where suddenly opened to what l was looking for: FOCOS giving life to people going through spinal problems. I quickly wrote down their contact information and before long, I was seen by Dr. Boachie. My family was informed that I had scoliosis. They were told that the only solution was surgery and that it was very expensive. A price we could not afford. A few months later my family was informed that FOCOS wanted to sponsor my surgery. That day l breathed a new life because I had thought all hope was gone. I was admitted on the 4th of May, 2004 at the Korle – Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana and had surgery on the 6th of May, 2004. At the time, the FOCOS volunteers were operating at Korle – Bu Teaching Hospital. I was treated with such care and compassion. Not only have my post – op reviews to date been sponsored by FOCOS, but Dr. Boachie sponsored my education through the junior high to the senior high schools.
I am proud to say that my dream of contributing my story about the wonderful work of FOCOS has been fulfilled. I have been working at FOCOS since 2012 and currently occupy the position of Senior Administrative Assistant and it has been a wonderful experience. After the surgery l can walk straight without any assistance and also help with the house duties. From finding a doctor who was willing and able to help me, to having surgery and changing my life, to now being fully employed, my life has come full circle with FOCOS. It is my cry to you wonderful and special people to give more than you have ever given before to support the good work FOCOS is doing. There are many people out there, going through what l went through and they need the help of FOCOS too. I won’t forget what FOCOS has done for me and I am a living proof of the power of FOCOS