The project Ensure Sustainability of Rehabilitation Treatment in Marzes of Armenia builds the capacity of regional doctors and nurses and creates rehabilitation teams for early diagnosis and treatment of childhood disabilities. Initiated in 2007 by the Jinishian Memorial Foundation, the project has transformed the lives of hundreds of children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, congenital hip disorders, and scoliosis.
Nine year-old Arsen Tigranyan from Ashtarak town is one of the children positively affected by the project. Unlike other children, Arsen did not attend school or play in playgrounds, because his disability affected his ability to walk. He felt isolated and never imagined he could be an equal member of his community.
A local therapist and project participant, Ruzanna Hakobyan, examined Arsen and diagnosed him with cerebral palsy. In 2008, Arsen underwent a successful surgery, led by the project’s partner, Doctor Koloyan and his medical team. JMF provided him with a posterior walker. All of this enabled Arsen to take his first steps. “I could never imagine that I would ever walk,” he said. Now Arsen attends school and has made many friends. Arsen’s mother, while crying, said to JMF, "This was the second birth of my son. This time he is born a full member of the community. God bless the people who have given him a second birth."
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