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Generous Utahns help young father from Madagascar get knee replacement surgery

PROVO — A young father from Madagascar is counting his blessings, thanks to some generous Utahns who have given him a bright new future in the form of knee replacement surgery.

Nambinina Randrianirinaniarivo, 30, arrived to Provo in late January. Friends have an easier time calling him “Nambine.” As a child, he was crippled from a knee injury that in America likely could have been repaired through a simple scoping of his knee. Nambine’s prognosis in his home country had reached the point it would likely lead to amputation.

“I have lived with this pain for many, many years. I was scared to do it there, I would rather live with it than doing it in my country,” he said.

A father of two, Nambine worried he would never run again or see any relief while walking, until he met Greg and Jane Cloward of Provo, who were serving as LDS missionaries in Madagascar.

“I had both knees replaced a number of years ago, so I was aware of all of the pain that he was really going through,” said Greg Cloward.

After they returned home, the Clowards spent two years looking at options in South Africa and India, to help Nambine get knee replacement surgery.

They finally found Dr. Brady Barker at Revere Health in Provo, Zimmer Biomet, which donated the knee implant, and Timpanogos Hospital in Orem, which was willing to do the surgery free of charge. Utah Valley Physical Therapy in Orem, volunteered to help with Nambine’s physical therapy. Other former missionary couples donated to cover Nambine’s travel expenses.

“How generous and kind people are to step up and help with someone has a need like this,” Cloward added.

On the morning of Jan. 25, a still nervous Nambine underwent surgery to replace his left knee.

“I have a reason that I am doing this and that is for my family” Nambine added.

“So his knee was kind of a mess, he didn’t have any cartilage in there and there were multiple pieces of broken bone floating around all the tissue and in the joint,” said Dr. Barker.

After a few days in the hospital, Nambine began a rigorous physical therapy plan to help him fully recover and enjoy his promising new future.

“I am going to be a new person when I go home, that comes with a lot of responsibility and duty as well, play more with my kids, it is going to be nice, positive things all the way coming,” he said.

And an opportunity for many to help improve his quality of life.

“It is very refreshing to be able to sit down and look at a problem and say we know how to fix and make him better,” added Dr. Barker.

“Now he will have a full life, with his family, with his job and the service he provides, and it is really special to be allowed to be part of that,” Greg Cloward said.

As Nambine prepares to return home next week, gratitude for those who made his dream to walk normally again, finally come true.

“I owe everything to those people and I am grateful to all of them for everything that have done for me, I will always remember all of them.”

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