In January, it was determined that five-year-old Yatta Bokarie’s tumor-like protrusion on the middle of her face was increasing in size and that it was connected to her brain. Yatta was not seen by us, but had been seen only by Dr. Hans Arndt, a reconstructive-plastic-surgeon visiting Sierra Leone from Germany. While I was still in Sierra Leone, I emailed Yatta’s X-rays and brief medical history to Dr. David Nolen at the Kijabe Hospital in Kenya (www.kijabehospital.org). Dr. Nolen confirmed that the neural surgeons at Kijabe could treat Yatta in Kenya, and Dr. Arndt consented to let Africa Surgery send Yatta there.
Because Yatta and her family live in a remote village with no cell-phone coverage, they could not be reached by phone, and no one knew the village’s name or where it was. We had messages broadcast over the radio, and within two days Yatta was located. In May, 2018, Yatta was finally sent to Kenya for surgical treatment. Yatta returned to Sierra Leone on August 4, 2018. Her face and her future are much brighter now.