By Connor Boyd Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 11:20 GMT, 2 December 2019 | Updated: 11:23 GMT, 2 December 2019
Incredible photos show the transformation of a teenager whose bowed legs drew so much ridicule she dropped out of school.
Known only as Valerie, the 14-year-old's limbs arched outwardly as she got older. It made it extremely difficult for her to walk.
The schoolgirl, from Cotonou in Benin, West Africa, was picked on for her condition and begged her family to pull her out of classes.
But she plans to return to school after surgeons from the charity Mercy Ships cut the bones in each leg, untwisted her limbs and set them back in place with plaster casts.
Valerie, 14, suffered from bowlegs, which caused her limbs to bend outwards and make it extremely difficult to walk
The teen (relearning to walk after surgery), from Cotonou in Benin, West Africa, was picked on for her condition and begged her family to pull her out of school
Valerie had joined her uncle's tailoring shop as an apprentice to keep busy and bring in money for her impoverished family after quitting school.
The talented seamstress was sewing one day when a customer told her a hospital boat operated by Mercy Ships has docked at a port in the city.
Valerie became one of 76 children to receive free surgery during the boat's 10-month stay.
The charity uses hospital ships to deliver free health care services to less-developed parts of the world.
Valerie was in post-surgery rehab for about four months, during which she learned to read.
She said: 'I was very happy. I told