APOROSA Batini's mother Litia Taylor will forever be grateful to Shriners Children's Hospital in Hawai'i after her two-year-old son was chosen to receive much-needed reconstructive surgery to his right leg.
"When it was confirmed that Aporosa would be going, all I have been doing since then is just being thankful to those who agreed to help us and to the surgeons who saw that my son needed help," she said.
"From the moment that he was born, he was affected by a lot of unfortunate events."
Mrs Taylor said Aporosa suffered a bad case of pneumonia just 12 hours after his birth.
"When the medical team noticed that his body started growing darker, they moved him to the ICU at the CWM Hospital.
"We spent more than one month in the ICU and that was one of the hardest times of our lives because he was our first son and he had barely just begun his life."
Mrs Taylor said they were relieved when the young boy's condition began to improve.
"But when we went home, I started to notice his right leg was turning yellow.
"I didn't know what was happening to him, so I took him back to the hospital and they bandaged it because the yellow colouring was, in fact, pus.
"I started to think the worst and wondered how that wound or injury was affecting his right leg so much."
Mrs Taylor said her husband, Varayame Drelo, had to leave his work on Kadavu and spent a few hard months with his wife and son searching for possible solutions to their son's mysterious ailment.
"After a few months, we were transferred to Nadi and were getting the same treatment of changing bandages every time we went to the hospital.
"Out of pure frustration, we went to a herbal doctor and she gave us some medicine and gave him some relief."
After turning one, the young boy then started to show signs of a walking disability.
"He was growing and the skin around his right leg started to stretch and it looked like it was burnt.
"After a few more months, we started to see his foot grow crooked."
Mrs Taylor said the boy had club feet before he turned two.
"Even after all that we went through, I am just thankful to God for bringing to our lives all of the people that made it possible for Aporosa to go to Hawai'i.
"We did not have to pay a single cent for his passport, visa and air ticket.
"All of that was taken care of by relatives, friends, the Ministry of Health and students of Nadi International School who raised more than $580 for us.
"I am very thankful to all these people for their help."