Stories

Twins get reconstructive surgery after suffering severe facial burns

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One sunny day in July, Jemimah and her twin brother Jedidah were home with their mother while their father was away at work. Their mother took the twins to a neighbor’s home since she needed to leave for a little while. Shortly after their mother left, the unthinkable happened. While the in process of roasting maize, the neighbor put kerosene on the charcoal to get the fire started. The twins were standing too close to the pot, and their clothes went up in flames!

Jemimah and Jedidah frantically ran around, searching for water to put out the fire on their skin. But once the fire was put out, it was clear they had suffered severe burns on their faces and bodies, and they were rushed to a local hospital.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14 

From the look of their burns, people were amazed that the twins survived the flames. Their burns were so severe that they were unable to open their eyes. After five days, Jedidah opened his eyes and yelled, “I can see!” His voice echoed throughout the hospital, and everyone was excited for him. His sister, Jemimah, had more extensive burns on her face, and it took her two weeks to open her eyes and see things around her. Jedidah and Jemimah stayed in the hospital for a month until they were stable enough to return home. When they were discharged, they were given Argan oil to massage into their skin, which they used for the next few months while they recovered at home.

Desperate to find further help for her family, a cousin in the States reached out to the CURE Children’s Hospital of Niger for help by sending a message to the hospital. She wrote, “There are these twins who fell into the fire and got very badly burnt on their faces. Even though they survived the accident, it is not possible for them to live normal lives without medical intervention.” After some investigation, CURE Niger staff reached out to the twin’s father about bringing them to the hospital for review and treatment.

“I want my face, my skin, to be like yours, mommy.” – Jemimah

Once the family arrived at the hospital, Dr. Venter, a surgeon from Mercy Ships – a partner with CURE, consulted with them about what could be done for the twins through surgery. He explained that although there would be scars, there were procedures that could be done to help their condition, such as skin grafts. After the consultation, the twin’s parents decided to proceed with the reconstructive surgeries for the twins at the CURE Children’s Hospital of Niger. 

Jedidah at the CURE Children’s Hospital of Niger.

Today, Jemimah and Jedidah are healing well from their surgeries. Their family is grateful for the outpouring of love and care they have experienced CURE. Although they wish the accident never happened, the Lord is healing their bodies and hearts every day.

“I don’t blame God,” says CJ, the twin’s father. “They will be a testimony to others of God’s healing and transformation.”

Psalm 31:24 – “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”