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A boy's journey from Africa to Austin

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With each step, stretch and exercise a little boy from Africa is getting the therapy he needs in Austin. The eight-year-old has a team of heroes working to make sure he can play like a little boy his age should.

If you didn't see the scrubs you might think that Jovanus was at playtime instead of physical therapy. He's spending a couple of months in Austin working with therapists at Dell Children's Medical Center.

"As he got older his condition got worse," explained Natalie Green with Africa New Life Ministries. Jovanus was born with a congenital abnormality. His knees bent the wrong way.

"He has severe deformities where his knees were actually pointing backwards," explained Dr. John Williams, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Dell Children's Medical Center. Dr. Williams is watching over Jovanus' care while he is in Austin.

Through the love of a lot of people and Africa New Life Ministries, Jovanus has the corrective surgery he needed in Uganda, but lacked the post-op therapy in his Rwandan village. An Austin family has opened their home to Jovanus while he's here for treatment.

"He's done fantastic. When he got here he was shy and was walking slowly and timidly and now he's bouncing around," explained Dr. Williams about his progress.

"He has a smile that melts the heart of everyone who looks at him," Green described. She says Africa New Life Ministries is working to bring another little girl to Austin for surgery.

Green and Williams know that Jovanus will go back to Africa with confidence and live life to its fullest.

"The dollar value for what's being done is priceless," said Green.

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