Fati Mansaray developed a deformity in her spine when she was about four years old.
She was then abandoned by her parents but was taken in by her maternal grandmother. Fati’s deformity was due to a tuberculosis infection which developed after she was exposed to someone coughing with TB of the lungs. Fati was about nine years old when we found her. We had her medically treated to eradicate any TB she might still have. Then in July 2015, because Ebola was still lingering in Sierra Leone, we quarantined Fati for 21 days, along with 16 other patients in need of spinal or joint replacement surgery, before sending them to the Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) hospital in Ghana. There Fati was placed in a halo traction device for more than six months, to stretch her spine until it became straight enough for surgery to be done safely. Fati, now age 11, is completing her recovery back in her grandmother’s village in Sierra Leone. Her spine is now straight, and she is free from pain and from the danger of becoming paralyzed. Besides Fati, 16 other patients were also treated in Ghana, and all but one, who needs extensive treatment for a bone infection, are now recovering back in Sierra Leone.