Fatmata Sesay, age about seven, was born with two clubfeet. Africa Surgery had Fatmata’s left foot corrected in November, 2016, by a specialist surgeon visiting Sierra Leone with the German-based org. Orthopaedie-Fuer-die-Dritte-Welte (0-D-E, www.O-dW.net). When he returned with the O-D-E team in October, Africa Surgery arranged and funded him to correct Fatmata’s right foot, and also to correct the left foot of another clubfoot patient. Fatmata’s smile while recovering was thanks enough for us
When Esther Tenneh Sesay, now age 16, first came to us in 2016, her spine was deforming due to a tuberculosis infection caused by a kyphosis fracture of her spine. She was in pain, and her legs were already paralyzed to the point where she could only stand with the support of her mother. On October 15 , Esther returned to our base in Freetown with her older sister.
Now out of pain, Esther wanted to show us how she is able to stand on her own while she even lent some pretense support to her healthy sister. Africa Surgery had sent Esther and funded her treatment at the hospital of the Foundation of Orthopedics and complex Spine (FOCOS, www.orthofocos.org) in Accra, Ghana. There Esther underwent halo traction treatment and multiple surgeries. She has regained most of her neural function and is on track for a full recovery. Esther is one of 13 patients sent in 2018 by Africa Surgery to FOCOS in Ghana for successful complex spinal surgery.
David Dominic Grant, 16, has been living with an unrelated guardian since becoming an orphan in his early childhood. David is a hard-working student who always ranks first or second in his class standing. David’s guardian is a primary school teacher who, like many teachers in Sierra Leone, does not receive a salary because the government has not yet registered her as certified, and this after eight years of voluntary work. She can only get money by doing private tutoring or selling goods in the market.
For the past several years, through Africa Surgery’s student-sponsorship program, David has been getting support for his schooling from husband-and-wife donors in America. Africa Surgery had already been paying the rent on the small house shared by David and his guardian. But David has often attended class on an empty stomach. So, recognizing that “an empty bag cannot stand,” we began to subsidize his feeding with extra funds provided by his generous sponsors. David is one of over 100 students receiving help to attend school through our student-sponsorship program.
When Salieu Kamara, 25, first came to Africa Surgery in November 2016, his face and mouth were badly deformed by a four-year old tumor.
No surgeon or facility in Sierra Leone had the equipment and materials to remove the tumor and properly reconstruct his face and jaws.
Salieu is one of seven patients with various types of facial and neck tumors who could not be treated in Sierra Leone. We sent them to the Kijabe Hospital in Kenya in May. Six of them, including Salieu, have undergone surgical removal of their tumors, with great success. The seventh has had five reconstructive surgical treatments following the removal of her massive tumor. Hopefully she will be discharged soon.
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.