Isatu Conteh

Isatu Conteh, age 4, was born with two deformed lower legs and has never walked.  She is also positive for pulmonary tuberculosis which has been bending her spine.  Africa Surgery had Isatu started on anti-TB medications, and our orthotics team made a brace for her back.

In October, 2019, an orthopedic team visiting Sierra Leone from Italy performed surgery to start to correct Isatu’s  more-deformed right leg.  A metal rod was left in to hold the leg somewhat straight as the bones healed.  

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Italian team could not revisit Sierra Leone to continue their work.  By August, 2020, the metal rod had dislodged and was pushing out through Isatu’s skin causing severe pain and the risk of infection.  

Fortunately, Africa Surgery was able to take Isatu to a hospital in Sierra Leone where an orthopedic surgeon from Denmark was able to remove the rod from her leg and prevent her flesh and bone from becoming infected.

Alimamy Kargbo

About 18 months ago, around a time that mangos were in full season, Alimamy Kargbo, age 10, fell from a mango tree and badly fractured his left femur.  By the time he was brought to Africa Surgery on September 14, 2020, a large section of rotten bone was protruding from his leg.  We immediately brought Alimamy to a hospital about 140 miles away where a surgeon from Holland confirmed our belief that the only way forward was amputation.  But upon X-raying the leg, it was discovered that along with the miracle that Alimamy was still alive and not dead from shock and infection, was a second miracle; Alimamy’s femur had regenerated and was healing 

Alimamy remains  admitted at the Seventh Day Adventist hospital in Masanga Village, Sierra Leone, where the protruding bone was extracted and the old wounds from his fall are receiving regular dressing.  He is expected to make a full recovery.

Kadiatu Bah

Kadiatu Bah, now age 18, suffered a high fever at age 3 that left her deaf.  After attending primary and secondary Schools for the Hearing Impaired, Kadiatu began studying computer technology at Africa Surgery’s base in Freetown.  Kadiatu is the first and only hearing-impaired student to be enrolled in any of our skills training programs. She is doing well.  Presently, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, all of our skills training classes have been canceled.  However, since it takes extra effort for the instructor to communicate with Kadiatu, she continues to come to class and receive one-on-one instruction.  And because much of the communication requires lip reading, neither the student nor the pupil can wear face masks.  

Kadiatu Bah, who has been deaf since age 3, gets a one-on-one lesson in computer technology at Africa Surgery’s Skills Training Center in Freetown. 

Salimatu Kargbo

Salimatu Kargbo, age 28, was having trouble delivering and the government hospital told her that she would need surgery to safely bring her baby into the world.  However, since she was the wife of a poor farmer, there was no money to pay for it.  In desperation, her aunt and mother-in-law knocked on the door of my residence.  We sent Salimatu to the Holy Spirit Catholic Hospital, where, despite the Covid-19 threat, emergency ob/gyn procedures were still being performed.  The next day Salimatu had a successful C-section delivery, funded by Africa Surgery. Baby Aminata was born.

Aminata Kargbo, about 100 minutes after being born, sucks her hand while her mother Salimatu recovers from a C-section surgery in a nearby bed. 

Aminata Koroma

Aminata, now age 27, suffered from a tuberculosis infection of her spine when she was a child.  Africa Surgery funded complete anti-TB treatment for her in 2009.  By 2013 her TB had cleared up and her spine fused.  Aminata still suffers from a severe spinal deformity that drastically reduces her height, but the condition does not slow her down.  Last year Aminata completed a two-year course in Tailoring at our Freetown base.  She will be a great help to her two disabled housemates, one of whom has also completed our Skills-Training-in-Tailoring course.

 I never had a child of my own, but I felt very much like a proud father at his daughter’s graduation when we presented Aminata Koroma with her Skills-Training-in-Tailoring certificate on May 30, 2020.

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