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.
Aminata Kamara, 37, was disabled by polio as a child. Years ago, Aminata earned a certificate in tailoring at vocational school, but she never managed to acquire a sewing machine. She could only do piece-work in other tailors’ shops, and only if a machine equipped with a hand crank was available.
Africa Surgery gave Aminata a sewing machine, powered by hand, which was donated and shipped from Holland. Africa Surgery also designed and built an adjustable table and chair for her, using 2 surplus walkers and some boards. Aminata, who lives with her husband and two children on a settlement for polio victims, now is able to work from home.
Last week Africa Surgery distributed mobility carts to 10 disabled people in the town of Kabala, about 190 miles from Freetown. One of the recipients was Bafudia Kabalo, a 65-year-old man who had lost his left leg six months earlier.
Bafudia’s daughter/helper, in the picture, brought him to Bafudia. He will now be able to transport himself, his tools and his produce to and from his field.
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.
We are a unique organization in that we use 100% of of the funds donated here for the medical and surgical care of Sierra Leonean children and adult patients. No part of these funds go for administrative costs.
In Sierra Leone, simple surgeries cost slightly over $100. No donation is too small. Every dollar counts.
Africa Surgery, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit. Your donations are tax-deductible in the United States.